Laurentian University's Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) in Sudbury hosted an open house demonstration of their new, fully operational Workplace Safety Simulator (W-SIM) on Dec. 4.
The only facility of its kind in North America, the W-SIM can recreate almost any Northern Ontario workplace environment in a controlled laboratory setting.
The simulator consists of different components that can work together or individually.
The robotic platform, or the rotopod, recreates the vibration and motion of equipment in the field. The user sits atop the platform in a chair, and the pod operates in six degrees of freedom, vibrating as if the operator were using their machine.
The environmental chamber is a piece of infrastructure that allows the user to control the temperature and humidity in the room.
The facility also features aVR eye-tracker to simulate a worker's surroundings, and a cardiorespiratory diagnostic system to measure human response.
"So on a railroad system, I can slide the vibration rotopod into the environmental chamber, and then I can put you in the VR world with an eye-tracker, and I cam completely immerse you in the environment," said Sandra Dorman, director of CROSH.
"I can set the temperature, the humidity, the movement you're being exposed to and also the visual effects."
According to Dorman, the W-SIM has been in development for about five years. Using their philosophy of "field to lab to field," the...