Thursday, June 13, 2013

Want to become a chemical plant operator?

How are you at playing video games? Some professions are capitalizing on this craze and the hand-eye experience they give people to find and train employees. They have found, for instance, that doctors operate robotic surgery machines better if they are game enthusiasists since teen years.

Deborah Gage writes about this in the WSJ--June 11, 2013. The US Dept of Energy and some universities are studying video savvy college students to see if they can learn to run chemical plants using game simulators.

The idea is to lure bright young people to manufacturing--long a blue collar stronghold, and now one that is slumping.

It's called the Avestar Project--for Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research. It's being tested at the West Virginia University and may be taken to other schools.

The students put on 3D glasses and maneuver through the plant to see how it works. They can
""peel" off the sides of machines and see what is going on inside.

They can take charge of the whole plant--which could kill people if not virtual. They can also respond to alarms and emergencies.

This is good, they say, because kids today don't usually get to see their parents fix things and improvise. It all must be learned.

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