Qbit enables UND to launch a VR training lab for oil and gas drilling simulations


I wanted to share that I have been a part of a development team at Qbit Technologies, working on a ground breaking project using Hifi.
The University of North Dakota has commissioned to Qbit Technologies, the creation of a simulated oil rig training experience.

I should mention before I go on that this domain is restricted to UND participants and officials and not open to the general public.

Using a model of a real life oil rig we created interactive moving parts that enable a team of workers to carry out a core procedure of every oil rig, The connecting of a new extension drill rod to drill deeper, this connection can happen as many as 300 times until they reach the desired depth.

The virtual experience starts with a tutorial of how to handle objects with the HMD controllers, then teleport to a specific dressing room, put on the required safety equipment, then be teleported to the position on the rig. Each worker then has a list of specific jobs such as grabbing tongs and loosening the pipes and the Driller who operates the crane lifting and kelly spinning operations.
The specific workers are scored all the way thru and a result is given at the end of the training simulation.

The Qbit team (based in Palo Alto) Headed by Mattia Crespi went to North Dakota last week and demonstrated it to the University Technology department involved with oil and gas exploration and drilling.

The team fitted out the new VR space at UND with Vive sensors, with 4 Vive desktop stations and 3 portable backpack rigs, and 7 HMDs with controllers.

I want to thank the development team who did a great job on the tablet and overlays and models. In particular I would like to thank the other developers I worked closely with for the last few months, who coded out the back end, created all the synchronization and scoring system and brought the tablet to life.

All in all it was a challenging and rewarding experience and not without lots of hair pulling times because Hifi is not yet a friendly system to work with, in fact I have to say its tough, she can be unforgiving and unpredictable at times but we tamed the wild beast and she delivered a working model.


Very nice, I hope you can let others see it soon. I made a few oil field models awhile ago, just oil/gas Christmas trees, pumps and piping etc.

I hope you guys have much success with this. Job simulation training is a major use case for VR and with HiFi many things are now possible that would have been hard or too expensive to do before.


Awesome work there looks fantastic.

Question about taking on this kinda project
Do you run it on a specific build or risk a random update suddenly breaking it?(not that that ever happens)


Thats a good question.
We are running it on version 7150 because every version since has issues of some kind.
We do all testing on our local hosts and when a new version is released I test it on my localhost and it if presents a problem we dont update. Also the clients arent Hifi savy so its going to stay at 7150 until a rock solid version comes out.