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First Ever Virtual Reality Forklift Rodeo

Mike Morgan
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Wisconsin Dells, WI – On December 4th, 2019 the first ever virtual reality forklift rodeo kicked off at the Midwest Food Processors Association at the Kalahari Resorts Dells.  Wisconsin Lift Truck (WLT) hosted the event of 11 participants from 6 companies.  WLT provided one Really-Virtual Real-Forklift Premium and two additional units were on loan from University of Wisconsin, Platteville and Waste Management.  Each contestant went through an orientation process that got them familiar with the Rodeo courses on a monitor environment and a virtual reality experience using an Oculus Rift S headset.  Once familiar contestants practiced on a Real-Forklift Premium.  Once the contestant was familiar with the courses and acclimated to virtual reality, they entered the stage.  The competition Real-Forklift Premium was broadcast on a large projection screen and via live-stream on Zoom.

Contestants were required to complete two courses.  The first course, Rodeo One, tested a contestants ability to safely operate a forklift in a confined environment.  Rodeo One required three pallets to be racked in specified locations.  Each pallet placement was measured for accuracy and precision providing real-time feedback from the Virtual Trainer NEO.

Once Rodeo One was complete, contestants moved to Rodeo Two.  This course was a simple driver cone course requiring the driver to navigate their truck without hitting cones and navigating a speed bump.

During both sessions, The Real-Forklift Basic Training software and its Rapid Engagement Augmented Learning system logged performance metrics at over 30 times per second.

Each driver received a final score and time for each course completed.  The combined scores of the two courses were then used to determine the results.  In the event of a tie, the lowest time was the tiebreaker.

Thank you to all the drivers for giving it their best effort and their respective companies: Bush Brothers & Co, Chippewa Valley Bean, Seneca Foods, Bonduelle, Ocean Spray, and Agrian.

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