Publications / 2021 Proceedings of the 38th ISARC, Dubai, UAE

Asymmetrical Multiplayer Serious Game and Vibrotactile Haptic Feedback for Safety in Virtual Reality to Demonstrate Construction Worker Exposure to Overhead Crane Loads

Ingvild Moelmen, Haavard L. Grim, Emil Lybaek Jacobsen and Jochen Teizer
Pages 613-620 (2021 Proceedings of the 38th ISARC, Dubai, UAE, ISBN 978-952-69524-1-3, ISSN 2413-5844)

Construction still has high numbers of nonfatal and fatal occupational injuries. Works in highly dynamic and continuously changing environments involving heavy equipment pose numerous types of hazards. Potential struck-by incidents for pedestrian workers from overhead crane loads are a concern to many practitioners. Safety best practices suggest to avoid unsafe acts by early implementation of appropriate safety training. Serious games in Virtual Reality (VR) have proven efficient for such purpose because they are engaging and motivating the participants in the learning effort more than traditional methods can. However, most VR experiences are limited to one participant, and strict roleplay allows little interaction with the hazards. This paper demonstrates that an asymmetrical multiplayer serious game in VR can represent a more realistic work environment. The developed scenario contains several of the inherently embedded hazards and unpredictable human interactions that are involved in the specific use case of crane lift operations. Three players, of which two represent construction site personnel using head-mounted displays (HMD) and one operating a (gantry) crane using a remote desktop computer user interface, complete their individual work tasks in virtuality. Test results from 18 volunteering users, half of whom receive vibrotactile haptic feedback when confronted with hazards, show that such feedback positively impacts their hazard recognition rate. User awareness was also up to 35% higher while decreasing their time spent underneath a crane load.

Keywords: Asymmetrical virtual reality; construction safety training; crane load hazards; multiplayer serious game; unsafe acts; vibrotactile haptic feedback