UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Adoption of Extended Reality (XR) for enhancement of human capital in the mining workforce of the future Otgonbayar, Angarag


Industry and society are at the beginning stages of the 4th Industrial Revolution or in the case of mining, known as Mining 4.0. Among the multitude of drivers of the new revolution, automation and digitization will transform the nature of human capital within the mining industry. Skill polarization will occur with a reduction in repetitive, low skilled jobs while high skilled programming and engineering jobs will increase. This polarization will benefit those with degrees and access to education in urban areas while the local remote and Indigenous communities will face greater challenges in getting employment in the mines which will increasingly be run by complex smart integrated systems. Extended Reality (XR) encompasses Virtual (VR), Augmented (AR), and Mixed (MR) realities and these methods could provide learning benefits, remote learning/collaboration, and translate to considerable cost and time savings if used for the training of new workers or for the up-skilling of current employees. Despite the benefits of XR methods, there is limited adoption within the mining industry. In order to understand the reasons behind the lack of adoption, a Comprehensive Literature Review was conducted to identify experts and a cross sectional survey was designed and distributed. The research questions attempted to be answered were: what are the perceived advantages/disadvantages, barriers, and timeline for XR adoption? Results indicate that mining company management misunderstands the usage of XR, hardware for XR methods needs more development and software should be more available for companies. The timeline for adoption seems to be 1-3 years for VR, and 3-5 years for AR/MR methods, and recommendations were provided for implementation.

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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International