Challenge to solve
Traditional VR training allowed Volkswagen to protect the training equipment from being damaged, however it did not allow trainees to interact naturally. Additionally, the need to continuously keep the controllers in the user’s hands meant trainees were unable to grab things, let them go again or feel the details of different sizes in their hands.
“We want to make the pre-training as realistic as possible for two reasons. First, it saves time. The employees from the line do not have to come to our physical location to train; they can experience it in VR. Second, it enables us to keep the expensive pre-series vehicles we need here in the professional showroom in order to qualify the employees,” said Friedrich Mattiszik, Head of Production System at Volkswagen.
Implementation of haptic gloves. Haptic gloves VS traditional controllers
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles began testing SenseGlove Nova in 2021 in an effort to compare traditional VR training with controllers to VR training that uses haptic force-feedback gloves. Volkswagen team decided to test haptic gloves for automotive VR training in assembling a T6 and T7 vehicle door. The goal was to improve the realism of VR simulation and to protect the expensive vehicles from damage that could potentially occur during real life training. Assembly line trainees who donned SenseGlove Nova haptic force feedback gloves in a virtual environment were able to physically feel the virtual parts of the vehicle, explore the details of the virtual door, and interact with them in a natural way.
Everyone from the Head of Production to Trainer and Trainees at Volkswagen found the gloves to be more efficient than controllers.
“One hundred percent of the trainees who completed the T6 vehicle assembly training found it more realistic to work with SenseGlove Nova versus the controller, simply because they could do more, like grabbing things. It just feels more realistic”Marcos Antelo Barrio Trainer at Volkswagen
The trainees who tested SenseGlove Nova in comparison to the the controllers greatly appreciated the added realism and natural interactions with the gloves: “I personally think one generally gets a better feedback, because you put things together, like two plugs, and it simply feels more real,” stated one Volkswagen Trainee.