​​With mobile AR, SENAR and Schneider Electric are Democratizing Access to Training Workbenches in Developing Countries

​​With mobile AR, SENAR and Schneider Electric are Democratizing Access to Training Workbenches in Developing Countries

For more than a year, we have been leading an ambitious project for technical education, in partnership with Schneider Electric and the Center of Excellence for Electricity, Automation, and Renewable Energies (CoE EARE). The goal is to enable students to train on AR simulators that replicate training workbenches, each of which costs around $10,000. Our 3D digital twins offer a more affordable solution while eliminating logistical constraints related to transportation. They open new learning opportunities in developing countries by allowing study on educational materials that would otherwise be inaccessible.

"We are aware that traditional educational workbenches are quite expensive," says Manuel Azibi, Technical Expert for the Centers of Excellence for Technical Training Abroad. "Not all schools can afford to buy them for their training in electricity and renewable energies. Moreover, if there is a mistake during practical training, there can be unfortunate consequences, as these pieces of equipment involve electricity."

So, we created three AR simulators, each offering exercises of different levels. The first simulator is dedicated to grounding procedures for electrical installations, the second to powering electric motors, and the third to setting up solar panels.

A full-scale test was then conducted for four months, among eight Indonesian technical high schools (SMK). It involved 174 students and teachers, from sophomore to senior year, and sparked enthusiastic response among both groups. The final study revealed that over 98% of students noticed an improvement in their skills thanks to the use of AR simulators. And 92% of them underscored the usefulness of the SENAR app in the teaching and learning process.

Key Findings of the Study

A key aspect of the project lies in its ability to bridge the gap between the study of theoretical concepts and their practical application. Mobile AR simulators allow for cost-effective expansion of practice time. They offer increased flexibility to students in their learning journey by enabling them to train anywhere, anytime, and as often as necessary. This flexibility was greatly appreciated by Raka A., a senior at the Jakarta Technical High School.

"During the Covid-19 outbreak, I was a junior. For a year, we couldn't practice at all. It was hard to grasp all the concepts. With the AR simulators, we learn to master the basics before moving on to actual practice."
Indonesian Students training on the SENAR AR simulators

AR simulators thus represent a very effective way to develop technical skills by exploring complex concepts related to electricity, automation, and renewable energies. Wardani Sugiyanto, Director General of Vocational Schools, welcomed the innovation:

"The development of electronics is very rapid because it goes hand in hand with information technology. There is a need for professionals. The SENAR app allows students to learn how to use equipment through simulators, especially in the fields of electricity, automation, and renewable energies."

The success of the pilot project in Indonesia is a first step. Our ambition is to extend the distribution of interactive AR simulators to other developing countries where access to quality educational equipment remains limited. By making practical learning more accessible and affordable, we aim to stimulate young people's interest in technical fields and open the doors to promising careers for them.

For a complete look at the study's findings, just fill out our contact form and specify your interest in the survey results PDF within the message box.

Credits: Images from the CoE EARE

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