Metso Lokotrack Simulator: Serious Game for Mobile Crusher driving training
Simulation technique interactive Metso Lokotrack & Lokolink
The brief

Being able to move with precision a powerful 180 ton tracked crusher can get tricky ... and needs ... a few hours of training. To train drivers using this mechanical monster, Metso Finland entrusts us with the realization of an interactive real-time application, inspired by driving simulators used by pilots of such expensive machinery, civil or military.
A serious game for training, and designed as a simulation game.

Mobile crushing

The activity of a quarry consists in crushing rocks in order to transform it into crushed stones (gravels) that are transported on conveyor belts (kind of treadmills) for selective storage in piles of different qualities. Here, the entire system is mobile.
So, to be truly autonomous and efficient, it is the whole crusher-conveyor that needs to be moved.
Lokotrack (the crusher) moves like an assault tank mounted on tracks.
When it is connected to Lokolink (articulated conveying system that allows moving the crushed material), the control of the set in a quarry can quickly become a matter of potential stress... for the one that controls it with his fingertips. In practice, the steering is done from a remote control.
The target is to train future drivers to operate the machine safely and worry-free...!

The constraints

Obviously, the main constraint is the realism of the machine’s behavior.
The pilot’s playground is a two-level quarry, including targets, difficult ramps to negotiate with such a coupling, all of it surrounded by hundreds of trees of different species (for the setting). The articulations of the mobile system are numerous and must meet both minimum and maximum angles at the risk of damaging the machine (expensive in reality, of course).

The simulator

Here, the idea is not to create sumptuous scenery, but to reproduce, in a virtual quarry, different real situations.
To do this, 3 tasks are to be performed in the simulation:
- Position the Lokotrack so as to allow the excavator to load the rocks to be crushed
- Move the crusher and conveyor along the distribution rail
- Move the whole set to the lower level of the quarry by negotiating curves and access-ramps positioning in different levels of the quarry

In this simulation, the Lokotrack is driven with a joystick or a keyboard. Keys (reprogrammable) can rotate the wheels (central and end), change the simulation speed, and also choose the display angles with dynamic cameras.
For better learning, audible and visual alarms alert the driver when the angle becomes critical.
A long training is necessary before succeeding all three levels ! ...

The technology

After modeling vehicles and scenery in Autodesk Maya, programming is done on Unity 3D, which allows to apply, in real-time, forces, physical constraints, joints effects and friction of the wheels on the ground ... all necessary to manage the behavior of the machine so as to create an efficient and realistic simulator.

Serious Game:
the economical and playful training tool

Efficient simulator and obviously less expensive than learning on the real mobile crusher.
A future timed version will help monitor how much time was needed to reach each goal and complete each one of the three missions. Therefore, just like in a real game, top drivers rankings will be available, making it a playful challenge, for training purposes, for example.

Metso asked us to develop this serious PC game, but it is possible to develop mobile versions designed for tablets (iOS and Android) and an online version for remote driving training, and, why not, for the organization of fun challenges...

Simulation, training program, team building and skill testing challenges ... Contact us to have your own serious game:

Steering control with joystick or keyboard

Excavator load Lokotrack for grinding

Front and central wheels control

Critical angles viewing in real-time

Realistic physical handling