School of Science and Technology 科技學院
Computing Programmes 電腦學系

Safety Awareness and Firefighting Skills Training through Virtual Reality on Mobile Phones and Computers

TIAN Yujia, FAN Chiu Yin, LEUNG Yu Ho

  
ProgrammeBachelor of Computing with Honours in Internet Technology
SupervisorDr. Vanessa Ng
AreasVirtual Reality Applications
Year of Completion2018
Awards received2018 Pan-Pearl River Delta Region IT project Competition (First-class Prize)

Objectives

This project intends to enhance general public’s safety awareness and firefighting skills by using Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

The solution is designed with the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology. The whole solution is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on improving safety awareness. This part is about a mobile application coupled with a VR helmet to provide risk prevention training such as “Remove tinderbox from stove” and “Replace broken wires”. The other part is called Firefighting Skills. It is a small firefighting skill trainer based on VR with the HTC Vive, which would pay the attention on how users acquire the skills.

The main objective of the project is to develop two VR applications that can run on both mobile phones and computers.

The first VR application which focuses on improving safety awareness is designed to enable the applicant to estimate the surrounding stuffs with a potential risk to raise a fire. The other one, which focuses on improving firefighting skills should include the virtual burning situation and a set of fire equipment along with the interaction logics. Both VR applications should be able to simulate lifelike scenes and objects that users are familiar with and give users proper and correct operation instructions.

Video Demonstration

In achieving the aim, six objectives are included as following.

  • Design and Develop models of fire equipment and general objects like furniture and electrical appliances.
  • Design and Develop two scenes including subdivided-flat and industrial building.
  • Design and Implement interactions between the user and models in safety awareness training application.
  • Design and Implement interactions between the user and models in firefighting skills training application.
  • Do research and Collect official firefighting guide, design diagrams of different scenes.
  • Evaluate the VR application against current solutions through inviting residents to try it.

Background and Methodology

In the mobile application, there are two choices to learn and train safety awareness module which are “Learn Safety Awareness Builder” and “Safety Awareness Training Builder”. After the user selects the module, the user selects the scene and system to be built. This session is “Scene Builder” component. Two kinds of scenes are designed, they are subdivided-flat and public housing. Also, the system loads all the scenarios regarding to the scene and this session is called “Scenario Builder”. The scenario is a set of 3D models and will be installed into the scene. The user can see and use these models. If a user chooses training module, the system will output the feedback after finishing the training. That is “Feedback Display” component.

In the computer software, user can select learn and train firefighting skills from “Learn Firefighting Skills Builder” and “Firefighting Skills Training Builder” respectively. User can select any scenarios in “Scenario Builder” upon their will.

For example, on mobile application, if the user selects to learn safety awareness in industrial building, the system will load the scene and dangerous stuffs in it. On the other hand, on computer software, if the user selects to learn firefighting skills mode with subdivided-flat and overcooking stove, the user will be put into the flat and there will be a pan on fire next to the user.

System Design and Implementation

The development process lasts for several months and it finally succeed. The solution includes a set of models and scenes which simulate the furniture and rooms that users are familiar with. These models and scenes were built in 3Ds Max and used in Unity3D for other implementations. The purpose of the solution is to improve users’ knowledge of firefighting skill and safety awareness, including the use of fire extinguisher, correct escape method and identification of different risk factors. The solution contains two parts, the first part is called “Safety Awareness”, which is a mobile application coupled with a VR helmet to provide risk prevention training such as “Remove tinderbox from stove” and “Replace broken wires”. The second is “Firefighting Skills”, which is a small firefighting skill trainer based on VR with the HTC Vive. Users will learn various firefighting skills and fire escape methods. The use of VR can simulate a fire situation with different causes such as “Stove overcooking” and “Careless handling cigarette ends”. Users can watch their surroundings and use what they get to extinguish the fire or find ways to escape.

User turn off the valved.

The user cover the pot with a lid.

The user uses fire extinguisher in training mode.

The menu for users to select a scenario.

Evaluation

The average accuracy rate of experimental group and control group is 69% and 68% respectively, the knowledge of safety awareness and firefighting skill between the two groups are almost same.

After evaluation, the average accuracy rate of experimental group and control group became 86% and 76% respectively. The accuracy rate of experimental group increased 17% while only 8% for the control group, which means the VR solution is more effective than merely watching videos of Fire Services Department.

Conclusion and Future Development

First, more feedbacks can be inserted when the user performs wrong action in “Firefighting Skills” or when they mishandle the fire accident. New developer can search for more negative consequences resulted of incorrect firefighting steps to warn the user about the unwished tragedy. It can prevent an awful fire disaster from happening because of user’s mistake.

Second, team-building concept in “Firefighting Skill” can be imported. If new developer can implement online game function, a group of users can work out together to survive from a fire. When a user is encountering a fire accident, there are chances for them to help others or be saved with others’ assistance.

Third, more scenes and models can be added in “Safety Awareness”. The conditions vary towards different places. For example, hospital is different from school, they both have their unique devices. If a user is not engaged in a certain place, they may not know what contains potential risks. The new developer can add more scenes and models accordingly to teach user how to identify risk factors and save life in a fire accident; more importantly, enhancing their awareness and improving their firefighting skills, preventing fire tragedies from happening.

Jonathan Chiu
Marketing Director
3DP Technology Limited

Jonathan handles all external affairs include business development, patents write up and public relations. He is frequently interviewed by media and is considered a pioneer in 3D printing products.

Krutz Cheuk
Biomedical Engineer
Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital

After graduating from OUHK, Krutz obtained an M.Sc. in Engineering Management from CityU. He is now completing his second master degree, M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering, at CUHK. Krutz has a wide range of working experience. He has been with Siemens, VTech, and PCCW.

Hugo Leung
Software and Hardware Engineer
Innovation Team Company Limited

Hugo Leung Wai-yin, who graduated from his four-year programme in 2015, won the Best Paper Award for his ‘intelligent pill-dispenser’ design at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering’s International Conference on Consumer Electronics – China 2015.

The pill-dispenser alerts patients via sound and LED flashes to pre-set dosage and time intervals. Unlike units currently on the market, Hugo’s design connects to any mobile phone globally. In explaining how it works, he said: ‘There are three layers in the portable pillbox. The lowest level is a controller with various devices which can be connected to mobile phones in remote locations. Patients are alerted by a sound alarm and flashes. Should they fail to follow their prescribed regime, data can be sent via SMS to relatives and friends for follow up.’ The pill-dispenser has four medicine slots, plus a back-up with a LED alert, topped by a 500ml water bottle. It took Hugo three months of research and coding to complete his design, but he feels it was worth all his time and effort.

Hugo’s public examination results were disappointing and he was at a loss about his future before enrolling at the OUHK, which he now realizes was a major turning point in his life. He is grateful for the OUHK’s learning environment, its industry links and the positive guidance and encouragement from his teachers. The University is now exploring the commercial potential of his design with a pharmaceutical company. He hopes that this will benefit the elderly and chronically ill, as well as the society at large.

Soon after completing his studies, Hugo joined an automation technology company as an assistant engineer. He is responsible for the design and development of automation devices. The target is to minimize human labor and increase the quality of products. He is developing products which are used in various sections, including healthcare, manufacturing and consumer electronics.

Course CodeTitleCredits
 COMP S321FAdvanced Database and Data Warehousing5
 COMP S333FAdvanced Programming and AI Algorithms5
 COMP S351FSoftware Project Management5
 COMP S362FConcurrent and Network Programming5
 COMP S363FDistributed Systems and Parallel Computing5
 COMP S382FData Mining and Analytics5
 COMP S390FCreative Programming for Games5
 COMP S492FMachine Learning5
 ELEC S305FComputer Networking5
 ELEC S348FIOT Security5
 ELEC S371FDigital Forensics5
 ELEC S431FBlockchain Technologies5
 ELEC S425FComputer and Network Security5
 Course CodeTitleCredits
 ELEC S201FBasic Electronics5
 IT S290FHuman Computer Interaction & User Experience Design5
 STAT S251FStatistical Data Analysis5
 Course CodeTitleCredits
 COMPS333FAdvanced Programming and AI Algorithms5
 COMPS362FConcurrent and Network Programming5
 COMPS363FDistributed Systems and Parallel Computing5
 COMPS380FWeb Applications: Design and Development5
 COMPS381FServer-side Technologies and Cloud Computing5
 COMPS382FData Mining and Analytics5
 COMPS390FCreative Programming for Games5
 COMPS413FApplication Design and Development for Mobile Devices5
 COMPS492FMachine Learning5
 ELECS305FComputer Networking5
 ELECS363FAdvanced Computer Design5
 ELECS425FComputer and Network Security5