Masterminds - VR & AR in maintenance

Together with partners such as Actemium and Marel, we investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of different training methods in VR and AR. Effective and efficient training of the next generation of workers in the manufacturing industry is an increasingly important task for companies. There is a great need for successful training methods, but much is still unknown as to which are the most effective training methods.

Many (corporate) training courses still take place in classrooms where employees are trained much as is customary in secondary schools, vocational schools, colleges and universities. New technologies, such as virtual reality, provide innovative new ways to train staff. However, much is unknown about the effectiveness of VR training.

In this project, we investigate the effectiveness of virtual reality training in industrial engineering and maintenance tasks. First, we evaluate what factors might influence learning outcomes. Is the method of application, the diversity of training, the training schedule and frequency of training, or the involvement of the learner important? Second, what are the indicators of learning? Are there behaviors, physiological, or neurological signals that indicate how much a person has learned? These questions are addressed for initial learning, transferring knowledge to new domains, and retention over time for experienced staff and students.

The first study in the project evaluated in what ways immersive VR training differs from a non-immersive passive training condition for student learning. The second study extended the first by evaluating to what degree training in this environment improved subsequent learning in a different VR environment, both in terms of knowledge acquisition as well as awareness of and adherence to safety protocols. The final studies are in progress and focus on which physiological and neurological signals predict learning in similar training scenarios for novice students and experienced technicians.

This project has been made possible by the Regio Deal Midden- en West-Brabant. For more information, please visit or