National Grid goes with Christie for VR application

The National Grid has selected two Christie Mirage S+6K projectors for engineer training in a virtual reality environment at its Eakring Training Centre in the UK.

Virtual reality specialist, Virtalis, specified the projectors following a recruitment push. One projector forms part of Virtalis’ proprietary ActiveWall system, while the second is deployed in the ActiveMove portable system which is used for roadshows, recruitment fairs and site visits.

The Virtalis ActiveWall is an immersive, interactive 3D visualisation system, drawing on active stereo technology and features a custom screen, specialist computer, Virtalis custom software and the Christie Mirage S+6K projector, allowing movements within the ActiveWall environment to be followed using a tracking system. 

The user can navigate through the virtual world, pick and manipulate objects, and even tools, in real-time. 

ActiveMove comprises the second Mirage S+6K active, stereoscopic, three chip DLP projector with a rear projection screen in a dedicated enclosure, coupled with a PC, eyewear, head and hand tracking, installation and support. ActiveMove is transported in two custom, wheeled cases specifically designed for local and international shipping, making it easy to share between locations. 

“We, or our partners such as Alstom, provide CAD data to Virtalis and they VR-enable these models, optimising them for interactive 3D stereoscopic display,” explained Chris Croce, technical and safety specialist at National Grid’s Eakring Training Centre. 

“Crucial this year has been for us to render in 3D a virtual replica of our T155 Circuit Breaker in our new £4 million workshop.

“Although the workshop has been specifically designed for hands-on maintenance practice for our new trainees, we find virtual practice in a VR world speeds development, making our recruits even more confident of their skills.”