iCASTS - Mining VR

Project Overview

Project Directors: Jeffrey Shaw and Dennis Del Favero
2008-2011
Interactive Visualisation Platform

Research into virtual environments that allow for narrative simulations that address the complexity of working underground has been constrained by its ability to create adequately realistic and immersive scenarios.

iCASTS is a world first fully immersive and audio-visually realistic environment that allows for the recreation of complex underground mining scenarios. It provides a platform for research into prototyping the types of narrative and visualisation that can aesthetically address the multi-faceted nature of underground technology and mining events. Combining a unique visual interaction design and industrial grade custom wireless keyboard interface, it allows up to thirty users to navigate through 7 kilometres of an underground 360 degree tunnel labyrinth and interact with over six hundred scenarios.

The significance of the system is attested by: (a) funding by ARC Grants DP0345547, DP0556659; (b) exhibition at APPEA Conference, Australia’s leading Oil and Gas industry exposition; © winner of the world leading Gold IDEA award for interactive design, 2009 (USA), the judges noting “A thoughtful approach to immersive learning …The potential applications are a class apart"; (d) $13M in sales to the Chinese China Coal Technology & Engineering Group, Fushun and the Australian Coal Services Pty Ltd, as a permanent training simulator; housed in architecturally designed custom facilities across five sites; (e) cited 15 times in major news reports including BBC.

Video documentation