Serious Labs extends partnership with United Rentals

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Serious Labs is extending its partnership with United Rentals for virtual reality (VR) training.  

VR simulation developed by Serious Labs is being deployed by United Rentals as part of its blended learning model for mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) operator certification courses.

An industry first

This model — new to the equipment rental industry —debuted in November, when United Rentals opened its first United Academy training centre with VR simulation in Alberta, Canada.

The new training centre environment expands on the eLearning and in-person training options previously offered through United Academy.

It incorporates VR simulation of MEWP operations from Serious Labs; VR simulation of crane operations from Industrial Training International; a computer lab; eLearning content that satisfies OSHA requirements; a digital training library; and hands-on training from United Rentals experts.

“Serious Labs, United Rentals and the broader equipment rental industry share the goal of safe worksites and well-trained operators,” said Jim Colvin, CEO of Serious Labs. “We’re pleased to make our technology available to the North American industry as part of United Academy’s best-in-class training methodologies.”

VR simulators provide the ability to practice skills in real-world situations before being tested on actual equipment.

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Simulators can improve motor skills, critical thinking and an understanding of training objectives. Real-time data tracks the trainee’s performance and flags gaps that require improvement.

Located in Edmonton, Alberta, Serious Labs’ industrial training modules and simulators allow the trainee to experience potentially dangerous workplace situations, such as operating an articulating boom lift, in a safe and secure environment, without tying up or damaging costly equipment.

At the same time, the instructor gains immediate feedback on every detail of the learner’s performance.

Gaming background

Created in 2005, Serious Labs leveraged its software designers’ videogame background to enhance the way operators learn their machinery.

In its early days, Serious Labs created seat-and-screen-based simulators. The company has since moved on to develop a more immersive virtual reality experience.

Rather than a television screen, Serious Labs’ simulators use an Oculus Rift  virtual reality headset.

As well, the simulator features OEM controls, to accurately recreate the layout and feel of real-world work platforms.