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Virtalis Joins NAMRC

Virtalis Joins NAMRC

Virtalis, Europe’s leading Virtual Reality (VR) Company, has joined the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC).  The Nuclear AMRC supports manufacturers in the supply chain for the new generation of nuclear reactors, and offers a unique array of state-of-the-art manufacturing and research facilities for collaborative projects.  The centre also works with companies involved in maintaining and decommissioning the UK’s existing reactors, and in manufacturing for other innovative energy technologies.

Dr Rab Scott, head of Virtual Reality and Simulation at the Nuclear AMRC, explained: “We’re not about invention; we’re about innovation.  We take existing tools, like VR, and apply them in new areas; bridging the gap between university research and industrial implementation.  For example, in the past, the nuclear sector had no choice but to build inflexible physical demonstrators at vast cost, but now we are looking to laser scan components for different suppliers and bring them together as virtual assemblies that closely mimic the real world.”

AMRC VR systems developer Chris Freeman virtually explores the core of a nuclear reactor using the centre’s Virtalis ActiveCubeThe Nuclear AMRC already has two Virtalis systems, an ActiveCube, a multi-sided VR system that delivers an intuitive, immersive virtual experience for two to four people, and an ActiveWall, an interactive 3D visualisation system designed for up to 25 people.

“We are developing a series of pilot projects involving VR to demonstrate the value of the technology to our members”, explained Scott.  “Already, we are finding that VR is the perfect medium to communicate complex tasks visually to senior stakeholders.  Feedback from our industrial partners is proving invaluable in tailoring software environments for the nuclear industry.  The Virtalis software packages, Visionary Render and Max Exchange, are both being further developed in response to our members’ needs and we hope ultimately to incorporate finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics data to create ever more effective visualisation.  With VR as a pivotal technology for the nuclear sector, it is essential that we continue to build on our partnership with Virtalis.”

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