AVRL Meeting Jul 2016

Virtual Reality Science Labs with Labster

labster-molecular-cloning

Monday 11th July 5:30-6:30 pm
Centre for Learning Technology,
Physics building ground floor.

Danish company Labster collaborates with top international universities to produce an ever-growing series of VR science labs that can be used for tertiary education, professional training and more.

The virtual labs can be accessed either through a web browser, or more recently with VR headsets.

Maaroof Fakhri, Director of Education Partnerships at Labster began his presentation with an overview of Labster.

Labster and related technologies will have a huge impact on education and training. People can learn how to operate in a lab from the comfort of home, in the library, on public transport, almost anywhere the internet is available.

It’s not limited to existing labs either. Lab staff and students can be trained in a virtual lab environment while the physical lab is still under construction. They can start work full trained from the first day a new lab opens.

Another advantage of having a virtual version of the lab is that workflows can be tested by users while the lab is still at the design phase. Remedying a deficient lab design at an early stage while the architects are still involved is much less expensive than finding problems when the lab starts operating.

The discussion moved on to Labster’s more advanced features like analytics, integration with existing learning and teaching software and AI for the lab assistant avatars.

We were also lucky to hear about some of Labster’s future plans. There’s some impressive work in the pipeline but it’s not public yet so we can’t describe it here. Another good reason to attend the AVRL meetings in person.

Maaroof described how Labster partners with institutions like UWA to develop virtual lab components. There was certainly interest from staff at UWA in pursuing this opportunity and Maaroof is looking forward to visiting again in a few months’ time.

After the formal presentation, attendees had time for networking and discussion and anyone who wanted to spent some time in one-on-one discussions with Maaroof had the opportunity to ask more detailed questions.