Inderscience Publishers

Virtual Reality as a training tool in engineering education

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This paper presents a new desktop training tool in Flexible Manufacturing Cell (FMC) to demonstrate and address the concept of reconfigurability of Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). It is a robot-centred desktop virtual system with three main elements consisting of a milling machine, a storage system and a six degrees of freedom articulated robot. Visual C++ and OpenGL are used for user interface, simulation and animation. During simulation, the elements of the FMC are re-configured by changing the position of the storage system through the configuration interface. This system can provide visualisation of the reconfiguration process of the FMC and a good training tool for students.

Keywords: virtual reality, VR, desktop training, engineering education, flexible manufacturing cells, FMC, flexible manufacturing systems, FMS reconfigurability, reconfiguration, simulation, animation, visualisation, manufacturing education

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