Advanced manufacturing and virtual reality

Geelong is an industry leader in advanced manufacturing and 21st-century industrial design.

Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET)

The $AUD 55 million state-of-the-art Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering (CADET) is revolutionising engineering and industrial design education in Australia. A partnership between Deakin University and the Australian government, the facility is home to some of the most advanced and future-focused simulation and visualisation systems, purpose-built interactive laboratories and learning environments in the country.

CADET has spawned a number of high impact, first-of-their-kind projects.

Using the past to create a futuristic experience

A case in point is the application of virtual reality (VR) and 3D printing to breathe new life into dinosaur fossils. Dr Ben Horan, Director of Deakin University’s CADET VR Lab, and Dr Kaja Antlej, Industrial Design Lecturer and researcher in digital heritage interpretation, are working to develop visual and tactile encounters with dinosaurs. The project illustrates how the use of new technologies can create more dynamic and engaging avenues to promote the sciences, as well as renewed interest in historical artefacts. A particular focus of the study is how virtual reality and 3D printing can be applied to help with providing educational experiences in a museum context. In collaboration with Museums Victoria’s Dr Tom Rich; Geelong’s National Wool Museum; and Deakin Honorary Professor and Swinburne University Palaeontologist, Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich; Dr Horan and Dr Antlej have applied their technological expertise to capture the palaeontological dig site, as well as the physical characteristics and surrounds of a living Leaellynasaura.

CADET project team capturing Leaellynasaura fossil sites
CADET project team capturing Leaellynasaura fossil sites

VeRITy – Virtual Reality Intrapartum Touch Trainer

In a collaborative project with Deakin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, researchers in the CADET VR Lab have developed VeRITy, a ‘Virtual Reality Intrapartum Touch Trainer’. VeRITy is a unique virtual reality and haptic technology developed by the research team. This gives nursing students hands-on experience caring for a patient in labour, which is traditionally quite difficult to access for teaching purposes. The technology has been patented and the research team is pursuing commercialisation with the aim of the VeRITy technology becoming standard practice in education and training institutions.

Midwifery haptics lab
Midwifery haptics lab

Virtual Reality lab

The CADET VR Lab itself is a design achievement. It’s designed specifically for designing VR and Augmented Reality (AR) solutions. The facility is one of the first to offer reconfigurable large-scale VR interfaces that can be interacted with by individuals and large groups of people, providing state of the art visual and sound systems for crafting futuristic experiences.

Carbon Nexus and Carbon Revolution

Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus, 15km south of the Geelong CBD, houses both Carbon Nexus – an open-access carbon fibre / carbon composite research facility  – and Carbon Revolution – a privately owned Australian company specialising in advanced materials design, research and development. Together, the ‘triple helix’ of industry, government and academic collaboration uses design to reinvigorate Geelong’s economy – and help build our future.

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