During the summer of 2019, I worked with Infina, Ltd.to
reality experiences for the Federal Aviation Administration. These ranged from Virtual
Reality technical operations training demos to ground control taxiway applications.
Creating Government Training Apps
Working with my mentor at Infina, Ben Morse, my main objective was to
experiences for FAA technical operations training courses for proper maintenance procedures.
This consisted of working with Ben to create 3D assets, code up
simulations, and work with
various mixed reality hardware types to provide the most optimal training experience
What I worked on 👀
Hardware Maintenance Training
The first of these applications was an interactive refresher for power
transfer switch maintenance. Because most current training is bottlenecked by the lack of
physical training facilities, waitlists for receiving hands-on training for mechanical
procedures are long and time inefficient.
Therefore, we wanted to design an application
where the user could navigate the proper maintenance sequence while receiving realtime
feedback in the form of UI elements, haptics, and visual cues and signifiers in the
Extreme Environment Training
We also wanted to test a maintenance sequence in an extreme environment,
such as a radio tower in northern Alaska, since replicating these conditions in a physical
training facility isn't very practical.
We used this experiment to test natural user
motion in VR. This was done by using the velocity of the user's arms' swinging for
locomotion to simulate realistic traversal. The rest of the app was focused aroudn the
environment and the maintenance sequence that had to be completed, with minimal UI
Next was the taxiways program that I worked on, which uses a breadth first
search algorithm to delegate planes along paths using A.I. As a first step for a
fully-functional program for airport traffic control training, I created an interactive
application in which a user can select a plane and specify a desired path by selecting three
points on a map.
I then built off of this mockup model and created a basic training
implementation in Boise Airport, where a user can either delegate planes along taxiways
using click-commands or voice commands. The software keeps track of all of the planes'
destinations and instructions in realtime, simulating the real-life communication between
traffic-controllers and pilots.
While at Infina, my mentor encouraged me to learn VR development
in Unity by creating some test projects, so I ended up having a bit of fun in VR,
including giving myself the ability to firebend. 🔥
Infina gave me my first experience in designing and developing for
VR in a professional setting. It also was my first exposure to government contracting,
which made me think about users with pain points and use cases I had never thought of
before. Throughout the summer, I had many opportunities to learn and grow, and even
got to present my work to the CEO and VPs! 🤩