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Safety Awareness and Firefighting Skills Training through Virtual Reality on Mobile Phones and Computers

TIAN Yujia, FAN Chiu Yin, LEUNG Yu Ho

  
ProgrammeBachelor of Computing with Honours in Internet Technology
SupervisorDr. Vanessa Ng
AreasVirtual Reality Applications
Year of Completion2018
Awards received2018 Pan-Pearl River Delta Region IT project Competition (First-class Prize)

Objectives

This project intends to enhance general public’s safety awareness and firefighting skills by using Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

The solution is designed with the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology. The whole solution is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on improving safety awareness. This part is about a mobile application coupled with a VR helmet to provide risk prevention training such as “Remove tinderbox from stove” and “Replace broken wires”. The other part is called Firefighting Skills. It is a small firefighting skill trainer based on VR with the HTC Vive, which would pay the attention on how users acquire the skills.

The main objective of the project is to develop two VR applications that can run on both mobile phones and computers.

The first VR application which focuses on improving safety awareness is designed to enable the applicant to estimate the surrounding stuffs with a potential risk to raise a fire. The other one, which focuses on improving firefighting skills should include the virtual burning situation and a set of fire equipment along with the interaction logics. Both VR applications should be able to simulate lifelike scenes and objects that users are familiar with and give users proper and correct operation instructions.

Video Demonstration

In achieving the aim, six objectives are included as following.

Background and Methodology

In the mobile application, there are two choices to learn and train safety awareness module which are "Learn Safety Awareness Builder" and "Safety Awareness Training Builder". After the user selects the module, the user selects the scene and system to be built. This session is “Scene Builder” component. Two kinds of scenes are designed, they are subdivided-flat and public housing. Also, the system loads all the scenarios regarding to the scene and this session is called “Scenario Builder”. The scenario is a set of 3D models and will be installed into the scene. The user can see and use these models. If a user chooses training module, the system will output the feedback after finishing the training. That is "Feedback Display" component.

In the computer software, user can select learn and train firefighting skills from "Learn Firefighting Skills Builder" and "Firefighting Skills Training Builder" respectively. User can select any scenarios in "Scenario Builder" upon their will.

For example, on mobile application, if the user selects to learn safety awareness in industrial building, the system will load the scene and dangerous stuffs in it. On the other hand, on computer software, if the user selects to learn firefighting skills mode with subdivided-flat and overcooking stove, the user will be put into the flat and there will be a pan on fire next to the user.

System Design and Implementation

The development process lasts for several months and it finally succeed. The solution includes a set of models and scenes which simulate the furniture and rooms that users are familiar with. These models and scenes were built in 3Ds Max and used in Unity3D for other implementations. The purpose of the solution is to improve users’ knowledge of firefighting skill and safety awareness, including the use of fire extinguisher, correct escape method and identification of different risk factors. The solution contains two parts, the first part is called “Safety Awareness”, which is a mobile application coupled with a VR helmet to provide risk prevention training such as “Remove tinderbox from stove” and “Replace broken wires”. The second is “Firefighting Skills”, which is a small firefighting skill trainer based on VR with the HTC Vive. Users will learn various firefighting skills and fire escape methods. The use of VR can simulate a fire situation with different causes such as “Stove overcooking” and “Careless handling cigarette ends”. Users can watch their surroundings and use what they get to extinguish the fire or find ways to escape.

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User turn off the valved.

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The user cover the pot with a lid.

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The user uses fire extinguisher in training mode.

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The menu for users to select a scenario.

Evaluation

The average accuracy rate of experimental group and control group is 69% and 68% respectively, the knowledge of safety awareness and firefighting skill between the two groups are almost same.

After evaluation, the average accuracy rate of experimental group and control group became 86% and 76% respectively. The accuracy rate of experimental group increased 17% while only 8% for the control group, which means the VR solution is more effective than merely watching videos of Fire Services Department.

Conclusion and Future Development

First, more feedbacks can be inserted when the user performs wrong action in “Firefighting Skills” or when they mishandle the fire accident. New developer can search for more negative consequences resulted of incorrect firefighting steps to warn the user about the unwished tragedy. It can prevent an awful fire disaster from happening because of user’s mistake.

Second, team-building concept in “Firefighting Skill” can be imported. If new developer can implement online game function, a group of users can work out together to survive from a fire. When a user is encountering a fire accident, there are chances for them to help others or be saved with others’ assistance.

Third, more scenes and models can be added in “Safety Awareness”. The conditions vary towards different places. For example, hospital is different from school, they both have their unique devices. If a user is not engaged in a certain place, they may not know what contains potential risks. The new developer can add more scenes and models accordingly to teach user how to identify risk factors and save life in a fire accident; more importantly, enhancing their awareness and improving their firefighting skills, preventing fire tragedies from happening.


Copyright (c) 2011 - 2019
Editors: Mr. Raymond Wong, Ms. Terri Wong, and Dr. Andrew Kwok-Fai LUI
The Computing Programme Team, School of Science and Technology, The Open University of Hong Kong, Homantin, Kowloon, HK
Computing Team Hotlines [Phone] 2768-5904 [Fax] 2789-1170 [Email] cteam@ouhk.edu.hk

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