Exploring Magic Interactions for Collaboration in Virtual Reality Learning Factory

Tyler Hartleb, Haedong Kim, Richard Zhao, Faisal Aqlan, Hui Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A hands-on curriculum that blends theory and practical skills is essential to teach manufacturing. An integral part of such a curriculum is a learning factory, which allows engineering students to experience the entire manufacturing cycle of a product in a realistic factory environment. In addition to learning the required technical skills, students can practice their collaborative skills and communication via teamwork in a learning factory. With virtual reality (VR), environments can be made using game engines that simulate their real-world equivalents, providing realistic experiences. Compared to traditional remote learning, VR-based learning together with online remote learning is experiential, allows for natural interaction, and is only limited by the capabilities of the hardware running the virtual environments. The cost of VR devices has dramatically reduced with standalone VR devices such as Meta Quest 2, making these devices a compelling option for specialized educational simulations. A VR Learning Factory should support synchronous collaboration of multiple learners in the same environment. This is a critical advantage of using VR, since collaboration is an essential skill for engineers. To maximize this benefit, it is imperative to develop an appropriate VR interaction mode, because it can greatly influence the effectiveness of collaborations. In this research, we explore multi-user interaction within the context of the VR Learning Factory and compare two modes of virtual user interaction that we call natural and magic. Magic interactions include three additional tools: object container, holographic representation, and multi-object selection. We conduct an analysis of the two modes of VR interaction in a craft production task and show increased performance of using magic interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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