HYDAC Australia

Virtual and augmented reality maintenance training

Research partner
Deakin University

Total Project Value (AUD)
$486,627

IMCRC Funding (AUD)
$78.358

Start date
15/02/2021

Duration
13 months

Currently, Australia has a significant shortage of workers qualified to maintain hydraulic machinery.

In 2020, HYDAC Australia partnered with Deakin University to bridge this skills gap. The solution? A virtual reality technology that enabled HYDAC to remotely deliver its nationally recognised training courses in hydraulics.

After successfully prototyping the technology, HYDAC embarked on a 13-month collaboration with Deakin Motion Lab and IMCRC to develop the virtual and augmented reality solution for commercial use.

According to HYDAC Australia’s Managing Director, Mark Keen, the IMCRC-facilitated research collaboration greatly enhanced the features and functionality of HYDAC’s technology.

“This project has transformed HYDAC’s initial concept to an exciting, engaging mixed reality training environment that supports collaboration and delivers a virtual hands-on experience,” he said.

“Through the HoloLens, trainees on the ground can receive real-time assistance from a master technician. Despite being at separate locations, the master technician can provide verbal guidance, send technical documentation and review and assess the trainee’s completed work.”

Key to developing the innovative training solution was IMCRC’s structured, milestone focused approach, which ensured HYDAC was guided by strategic and commercial objectives.

“The collaboration with Deakin Motion.Lab and IMCRC has been seamless. Collectively, our team had the breadth and depth of experience we needed to navigate the unknowns of virtual reality and move from prototype to commercialisation,” Mr. Keen said.

For HYDAC, the opportunity to access assistance and funding from IMCRC was the catalyst for moving forward with the project.

“It’s been a tremendous collaboration that has generated unexpected commercial opportunities,” Keen said.

“We started out by designing a mixed-reality solution for HYDAC’s existing customers. But what we ended up creating has applications across many industrial sectors.

“It’s particularly relevant for businesses based in remote locations or those requiring high-risk maintenance work, including defence, mining and agriculture.

“This project has also catalysed further investment into virtual reality research with Deakin, enabling two PhD students to continue advancing HYDAC’s technology for other applications.

“It’s a great result, and IMCRC’s support has been critical to achieving this outcome. We couldn’t have asked for more,” Mr.Keen concluded.

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The collaboration with Deakin Motion.Lab and IMCRC has been seamless. Collectively, our team had the breadth and depth of experience we needed to navigate the unknowns of virtual reality and move from prototype to commercialisation.

Mark Keen
Managing Director, HYDAC Australia