Friday, 07 August 2020 06:55

Virtual biosecurity refresher training

Written by  Staff Reporters
ECO FRIENDLY: Reuben Turner inspects biosecurity training provider IVS’s new virtual shipping container. ECO FRIENDLY: Reuben Turner inspects biosecurity training provider IVS’s new virtual shipping container.

Cutting edge technology designed to simulate biosecurity threats has emerged from the collaboration of two Hamilton companies.

A pioneering virtual reality shipping container packed with simulated biosecurity risk scenarios is helping preserve New Zealand’s ecosystem and way of living.

Independent Verification Services (IVS) in Hamilton has launched a new virtual reality (VR) simulation built by Hamilton software specialist Company-X. The Ministry of Primary Industries has approved the technology to be used in biosecurity refresher training.

The project was led by Company-X augmented and virtual reality specialist Lance Bauerfeind, with project manager Dilan Prasad and augmented and virtual reality generalist Wonkee Kim.

Using virtual reality to assess frontline staff dealing with imported goods was a New Zealand first, said IVS chief executive Peter Webb.

“It’s the first training course that is not undertaken in a classroom, using a written examination-style assessment. Instead, it offers an online course with a virtual reality assessment that lets trainees demonstrate their practical knowledge and skills.”

The technology provides trainees with a realistic environment to properly assess their abilities to detect and respond to biosecurity threats such as foreign insects and vegetation. 

A wireless virtual reality headset allows the person to walk around the simulated container externally and internally, in the same way that they would in the real world.

“The virtual reality tool is the closest and more realistic assessment of skills,” Webb said. “It replicates real-life situations that may be encountered on the job.

“We randomise all the different things that can happen, like poisonous spiders,” Bauerfeind said. 

“We can trick head movements so we know where they are looking.”

“We chose to work with the team at Company-X due to their experience and capability. The fact that they are based here in the Waikato, was also a bonus,” Webb said.

The project, Webb said, was the first step in what could be a transformational journey for the biosecurity industry in New Zealand. It uses virtual reality to train staff dealing with biosecurity contamination immediately post-border in the most realistic way.

“This technology has the potential to be used to educate all New Zealanders to identify and respond to biosecurity risks,” he said.

“IVS believes virtual reality could be instrumental to achieving a biosecurity team of 4.7 million, where all New Zealanders are aware of the importance of biosecurity and involved in pest and disease management, as set out in the Government’s Biosecurity 2025 strategy.

More like this

World's fastest dry matter analyser

Ag-tech company Consumer Physics is introducing SCiO Cup – said to be the world’s fastest, portable, lab-grade forage dry matter analyser.

Simmm twin water blasters

Italian made Simmm Power Cleaner 100/11 and Power Gun 100/11 single-phase (230 volt) electric water blasters are proving popular in many applications.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

Featured

 

OSPRI and LIC join forces

OSPRI and the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) are urging farmers to play their part in improving animal traceability at a critical time on farm.

Awards help winners fine-tune

Newly-crowned Share Farmers of the Year Sarah and Aidan Stevenson are looking forward to their leadership roles over the next 12 months.

National

Effluent expo canned

The Effluent & Environment Expo, scheduled for early November in Hamilton, has been cancelled.

Fonterra back in the black

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says 2019/20 was a good year for the co-op, with profit up, debt down and…

Machinery & Products

Mowers get a makeover

Well known throughout New Zealand over the past 18 years, Pottinger has redesigned its rear-mounted Novadisc mowers to incorporate a…

Hardy spotlight

High quality, reliable lighting is essential for anyone involved in agriculture or the great outdoors.

Simmm twin water blasters

Italian made Simmm Power Cleaner 100/11 and Power Gun 100/11 single-phase (230 volt) electric water blasters are proving popular in…

OPD argument raging on

A stoush is brewing with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) heavily criticising Farmsafe Australia’s recent Safer Farm Report.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Eyes have it

OPINION: Painting eyes on the backsides of cows could save their lives, according to new research by Australian scientists.

Walkers versus cows

OPINION: A North Yorkshire teacher has become at least the second member of the public to be trampled to death…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter