Client Focus: EDF Energy

Make Real began working with EDF Energy in early 2014, making the organisation one of our earliest immersive technology clients to date. As an organisation, they were keen to explore and embrace emerging immersive technologies for learning & development, training and simulation, to create appeal to the workforces of the future and to apply their “Learn by Doing” mantra to practical and theoretical training scenarios.

Currently, there are 20 projects co-designed with a variety of departments of EDF Energy, HPC and NNB organisations, deployed across the country, covering the full range of immersive technologies, from tablets to Virtual and Augmented Reality to custom hardware installations, from classrooms to offices to training suites.

Approach

EDF Energy have always adopted our suggested approach of ‘start small and iterate’, creating a range of proof-of-concepts to explore opportunities and capabilities of emerging technologies, evaluating them to determine what works, what to keep and what to put aside or ignore for now. They have also appreciated and adopted our thinking out of the box and alternative angles of approach, compared to other traditional learning providers.

Through this approach, they have minimised risks and costs early on, allowing development of content to focus on core scenarios or objectives to measure effectiveness against, before determining where to increase budgets, complexity and scale accordingly.

Similarly as a result of our main development occurring within the Unity 3D engine, and careful design and development enabling re-use and optimisation of assets, further costs and development effort has been saved through streamlined process pipelines and ability to re-purpose content across technology stacks.

Deployments

Many of the projects have been installed at Cannington Court, during the multi-million-pound refurbishment of the Grade-II listed building as the digital centre of learning excellence undertaken by EDF Energy, as part of the wider employee training and community engagement works around the Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station construction.

Other projects have found themselves in other locations, including but not limited to, the fleet of nuclear power station control room training simulators, Glasgow Science Centre, other EDF Energy offices around the UK, and even an inflatable biodome in various fields connected to schools for girls in England.

Year Project Description Technology
2014 Learning Materials Conversion of 80-odd PowerPoint slides on Fundamentals of Nuclear Power training to 3D tablet content Tablet
2014 Reactor Builder 4D puzzle challenge to piece together primary circuit of nuclear power station with 3 difficulty levels against the clock with bronze/silver/gold rewards VR
2014 Reactor Runner 12-player networked game (4 teams x 3 ppl) opertating a nuclear power station over simulated 18 months, taking turns for each role (x3) Tablet
2014 Go H20 “Super Monkey Ball” racing game as water molecule navigating around inside components of nuclear power station primary circuit Tablet
2015 The Prioritiser Time and task management tablet game to encourage learners to understand task deadlines, priorities, criteria PC
2016 Reactor Runner Single player version installed into physical arcade cabinet with manual controls, deployed at Glasgow Science Museum and EDF Cannington Court PC
2016 The V.O.I.D Demonstrator of tech to showcase interactions with motion tracked controls, allowing user to inspect pumps & valves VR
2016 Reactor Builder Asymmetrical version used as part of the nationwide touring “Pretty Curious” STEM awareness campaign VR
2017 HPC Explorer Exploratory 3D AR environment of Hinkley Point C (HPC) with info points about finished construction AR
2017 iMAP HPC GPS- positioned tablet information app for HPC construction onsite visitors with 360º videos Tablet
2017 iMAP HPC Online HTML5 web-based information application with 360º videos WebXR
2017 iMAP HPC Touchscreen TV version for HPC Visitors Centres Tablet
2018 iMAP HPC Site tableaux version with 360º videos and final renders VR
2018 Click Mobile Smart meter (SMETS2) training for environmental awareness around installation process beyond just the specific task of installing a new meter VR
2019 Sentinel Physical installation of Raspberry Pi/Arduino and 2D training content for MVARS energy generation/supply market reporting in nuclear power station control room simulator PC
2019 Sales Toolkit Enterprise Energy sales toolkit for team to demonstrate specific ways to save energy at work Tablet AR
2019 Sales Toolkit Online HTML5 version WebXR
2020 To Be Revealed Currently in development ?

Impact

Across the board, the range of immersive learning experiences created for EDF Energy have enabled many of the following benefits for training, either individually or as part of a blended learning suite of applications to cover a breadth of content:

  • Learner “superpowers” – Gives learners enhanced capabilities, tools and confidence
  • Reduced time to train – Learning objectives can be delivered in shorter sessions anywhere
  • Reduced costs to train – Learners do not need access to real world assets or travel for training
  • Reduced risks of training – Virtual scenarios allow safe fail states without real world repercussion
  • Improved training scenarios – Edge cases and greater depth of interaction and involvement
  • Greater knowledge retention – Learn by doing, building up muscle memory
  • Deeper formed memories – Greater number of senses involved with learning
  • Greater memory recall – Greater knowledge retention and deeper memories to draw upon later
  • Repeatable – Virtual simulations can be easily replayed and repeated or customised
  • Consistent – Many forms of traditional training suffer from consistency of training where humans are involved to provide the same level of quality over and over

Unique Outcomes

  • By adapting the Powerpoint presentation materials to a digital, interactive application driven by the instructor, the training course previously allocated a day of time was reduced by two hours to completion, opening up the possibility to integrate other immersive learning experiences (Reactor Runner and Reactor Builder) to apply knowledge.
  • The Reactor Runner application has a software simulation of a power station inputs and outputs and systems integrated into the serious game, enabling the core heating component (or type of power station) to be hot-swappable between coal, gas and nuclear, influencing the outputs accordingly.
  • The physical versions of Reactor Runner installed in Glasgow Science Centre and the games room at Cannington Court include custom-made aluminium bearings for the valve wheels that can withstand upto 10M rotations.
  • The Reactor Builder application was originally designed for Oculus Rift DK2 and Razor Hydra controllers, to provide unique user virtual hands interaction into the experience; this was before HTC Vive and Oculus Touch were available, making it one of the first full VR training experiences of its kind.
  • The Prioritiser application has a fully operational simulation of the team management software running in the background to provide unique experience for each learner.
  • The HPC iMAP application is built from one codebase so that new aerial photographs, information points and 360º videos can be inserted into new builds for updates quickly and easily across the web, tablets, touchscreens and VR variants.
  • The SMETS2 software for smart meter installation engineers runs as a full simulation upon the virtual tablet within the Click Mobile VR training application.
  • By using a mix of off-the-shelf electronics and custom-made PCBs for Sentinel, the project achieved a bridge between the analog power station simulator and digital training control room that other providers either said couldn’t be done, or at a much greater cost.
Key Facts
Dates Deployed
2014 - 2020
Number of Projects
20
Immersive Hardware
Tablets
Nexus / Pixel / iPad
Virtual Reality
Oculus Rift / Oculus Go / HTC Vive
Augmented Reality
Mobile / HoloLens
Physical Installations
Arcade Cabinet / Custom PCB

Get in touch

We’re always happy to talk to you about how immersive technologies can engage your employees and customers. If you have a learning objective in mind, or simply want to know more about VR, send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.