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April 16, 2013
Forklift simulator could reduce deaths, injuries

A virtual reality training program for forklift operators is expected to reduce work-related injuries and deaths. The first-of-its-kind device was created by Tactus Technologies and was funded by a NIOSH grant.

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According to the company, the 3D Forklift Trainer uses virtual reality technology to give users the “active cognitive experience of operating a forklift.” The trainer allows users to practice with a video game-like system that features a steering wheel, joystick, and pedals. It offers simulated environments, including a warehouse, elevator, and railroad track.

Current training typically involves a combination of classroom lectures, videos, and observation before operators get into the seat to practice. Tactus CEO Jim Mayrose says the problem is that such training is passive, not interactive. He says the new simulator incorporates safety lessons aligned with OSHA standards. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete.

Learn more at The company is a University at Buffalo spin-off.

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