Title: Virtual Reality as a training tool in engineering education

Authors: Haslina Arshad, A.M.S. Hamouda, Napsiah Ismail, Riza Sulaiman

Addresses: Faculty of Information Sciences and Technology, Department of Industrial Computing, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Malaysia. ' Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, College of Engineering, Qatar University, Qatar. ' Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. ' Faculty of Information Sciences and Technology, Department of Industrial Computing, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Malaysia

Abstract: This paper presents a new desktop training tool in Flexible Manufacturing Cell (FMC) to demonstrate and address the concept of reconfigurability of Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). It is a robot-centred desktop virtual system with three main elements consisting of a milling machine, a storage system and a six degrees of freedom articulated robot. Visual C++ and OpenGL are used for user interface, simulation and animation. During simulation, the elements of the FMC are re-configured by changing the position of the storage system through the configuration interface. This system can provide visualisation of the reconfiguration process of the FMC and a good training tool for students.

Keywords: virtual reality; VR; desktop training; engineering education; flexible manufacturing cells; FMC; flexible manufacturing systems; FMS reconfigurability; reconfiguration; simulation; animation; visualisation; manufacturing education.

DOI: 10.1504/WRSTSD.2008.020290

World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 2008 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.389 - 401

Published online: 14 Sep 2008 *

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