The Immersive and Controlled Environment (ICE) is a research project funded 100% by the construction industry that, among other things, is developing a new kind of immersive virtual reality (VR) technology that the team calls iHR. From the outset, the team has convinced its partners of the value of VR for public engagement, particularly when engaging with young people about a sector like construction. For this, a mobile version of out iHR system has been developed that this is used to immerse visitors in challenging construction work environments, in particular work at height. With our unique system, visitors can walk on a steel beam 100m above Philadelphia, or experience navigating on the top of the nacelle of a wind turbine, sit in the cabin of a crane operator for high-rise construction, or stand on a pitched roof like a roofer.
Since 2012, the ICE team has taken part in almost 20 public engagement events and has engaged with a couple of thousand 10-16 year olds at various venues, including Glasgow Science Centre, the Skills Scotland Edinburgh Fair, Birmingham NEC Skills Show, Prince's Trust “Get Into Home Building”, Energy Careers Fair, Big Bang Day, and Edinburgh Botanic Lates.
To know more about the ICE project, visit their website. You can also follow ICE on Twitter at @ICE_HWU.