Farnborough. 17 April 2020. BAE Systems is supporting Ventilator Challenge UK, a consortium of companies rapidly producing ventilators in the fight against Covid-19. One way we are helping is to develop training materials for people building the newly MHRA-approved Penlon ventilator. Although the team will be made up of experienced engineers from sectors used to high precision manufacture, many will be making ventilators for the first time.
Charles Jackson, an Augmented and Virtual Reality expert in BAE’s Air sector team whose day job involves developing Typhoon simulation training for the Royal Air Force, is using ‘Unreal Engine’, an advanced real-time 3D creation platform used in many popular video games, to create an instructional video which will be used to train people needed to complete the necessarily rigorous factory acceptance testing of each ventilator before it is handed to the NHS.
Charles explained, “We’ve been looking at the graphics capability of cutting edge video game engines for a while to understand how they could be used to augment our training and simulation capability. Given the urgency for new ventilators, we’ve been able to quickly start producing an instructional video combining live video of the procedures with Unreal Engine graphics. Our ability to import CAD designs of the ventilator directly in to Unreal Engine and combine them with live action footage of someone performing the ventilator acceptance tests, coupled with BAE Systems’ training know-how will result in a video that makes it easier for people to learn the testing process. We hope this will prepare the testers being recruited so that when they do their formal training, they will already be familiar with the process and we will be able to get more people trained up more quickly to approve equipment and ultimately get it where it is needed the most.”