Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) will develop an Extended Reality (XR) - that encapsulates technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) - Centre for Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).

The centre, coming up at Management Training Institute (MTI), a unit of SAIL located at Ranchi, will showcase the latest AR, VR, MR and Haptic Technologies. SAIL will utilise these technologies created at the newly-established eXperiential Technology Innovation Centre (XTIC) at IIT Madras to promote Research and Development (R&D) in the domain of XR, says a release.

An MoU towards this collaboration was signed recently between SAIL-MTI and IIT Madras for collaboration on the application of XR and other technologies in steel manufacturing. SAIL-MTI has requested IIT Madras to be a knowledge partner in the design, development, and deployment of short-term and long-term new age training and lab for training purposes.

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Elaborating on the key aspects of this collaboration, M Manivannan, Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, and Principle Investigator, XTIC-IIT Madras, said, XR Technologies has the potential to add value in many aspects of steel making and probably the entire lifecycle of steel.

This XTIC is India’s first Research and Product Innovation centre for XR and haptics Technology, a transdisciplinary centre encompassing several fields of engineering, medicine, psychology, and arts. As XR is highly interdisciplinary, innovations in this field need a confluence of minds from different fields.

Sanjeev Kumar, Executive Director (HRD), SAIL-MTI, Ranchi, said, SAIL is partnering with IIT Madras for the effective use of various advanced technologies for the design and development of innovative training programs, for the training using new age technologies of Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Extended Reality, Drones, 3D printing, Robotics and Haptics.

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The XTIC will not only develop XR technologies for SAIL-MTI but will also impart training to concerned SAIL employees on XR technology and help them in future XR/VR systems for their use.

While most research labs around the world are focusing on either software or hardware components of XR, the centre in IIT Madras is focusing on the fundamentals of XR - human factors, particularly perception and illusion, pioneering a new field Perceptual Engineering and Perceptual Algebra, the release said.