Rodeo gets 'unreal' with virtual reality
Wisconsin Lift Truck is gearing up to co-host the highly anticipated Forklift Rodeo at this year's Midwest Food Products Association Annual Convention being held on 4 December at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Virtual reality will take over for this year's rodeo with each driver seated at a Really-Virtual Forklift Simulator with a headset that immerses them into the virtual warehouse landscape. Once in simulation, the rodeo contestants are challenged to complete a variety of tasks, such as picking up pallets off the floor and placing on racking, and navigating obstacle cone courses. The extremely detail-orientated VR software tracks every movement the driver does or does not make.
The 2019 rodeo participant line-up will include MWFPA association members from Seneca Foods, Bush Brothers and Chippewa Valley Bean.
The contestants will be vying for trophies, cash prizes, and the highly coveted rodeo belt buckle for the safest operator with the best score.
The forklift simulators are being provided by the UW-Platteville Building Construction Management program, and Waste Management in partnership with Wisconsin Lift Truck.
Wisconsin Lift Truck's operator training manager and head of virtual reality training solutions, Tony Parsons, explains: "My hope is that attendees will walk away with the knowledge of a new training concept for inexperienced forklift operators that helps prepare them for the real deal - actually operating the equipment safely."
Jason Culotta, MWFPA president, adds: "Forklift rodeos celebrate operator excellence, showcasing the importance of operator skills while raising awareness of forklift safety. The virtual reality rodeo will enable us to do this in a fun and unique way."