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FCV3000 The Basics

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Alan Payne
25 March 2013


My role as a Multimedia Educational specialist tasks me to find new and effective ways to deliver material to technicians in the field.


Our new technicians will have a background in hydraulics, mechanics or electrical engineering but not any experience with our specialist underwater equipment in particular the FC 3000 our core ROV that they are likely to end up working with.

 Currently the first contact that they will have with this machine will be wordy operational manuals which cover far more than they need to know or can digest before their first trip offshore.

 A classroom-based course is impractical and costly since these machines are always being used and technicians can be anywhere in the country since their workspace is offshore. Technicians have to learn on the job from more experienced colleagues, which puts these colleagues under pressure especially if the questions are basic.

 Just knowing the basics would give them a flying start and a point of reference that they could then use to develop deeper understanding by using the machines operational manual.


I hoped to achieve a method of delivering the basic information needed about the FCV3000 that would nock the rough edges of a new technician so that when they got offshore they would at least now where all the main parts of the ROV where and what they did.


• What simple to hand hardware do all the technicians have access and use regularly – That would be pads and smartphones

 • What is the best way to deliver information to this group – Engineers tend to like 3D or pictures rather than text. They are not design engineers they are technicians. They tend to be common sense and dynamic learners so the teaching material should reflect that. A 3D module will be the best delivery method

• We already have the 3D model so how best to deliver it to the smartphones and pads. – HTML 5 and java is cross platform and will service. Axure is a HTML 5 prototyping tool which I sourced after a number or searches and trails. It is extremely versatile and easy to use, although it was designed as a prototyping tool for native apps its output runs in any HTML 5 ready browser.

• Once the HTML 5 app was built it needed to be tested.  - This proved tricky since many devices have different sizes of screen. In the end the app had to be limited to full size and mini pads since phones proved to difficult to resize the information into anything meaningful.

• The delivery medium was the web. – A password protected area was created with the html 5 app placed in this space as a regular website. A manifest file tells the site when served to download all the information it needs to run offline. No need for disks, memory sticks or any other storage device. Possible the most elegant part of this project. Updating will be a breeze as well since only one file needs to be updated and then the technicians can surf again to the site and download the latest version.


Expected Outcomes.

• Technicians feel more confident before they go offshore. – This was evident in the uptake of the first draft of this app. 12 new engineers started two months ago and all had downloaded the app before the end of my introductory lesson to offshore practises.

• Supervisors see a better understanding of the basics. – First email back from a supervisor in the Middle East can he have a copy.  Since the app works offline once loaded I break the link after each new start class for security reasons. Sent him his own personal log in , he dose a lot of onshore training over there much like we do here.

 Unexpected Outcomes.

None really as yet. The size issue was not wholly unexpected but having to ditch smaller smartphones was disappointing. Having the supervisor contact me was unexpected I have no idea where he got the information from since he dose not take any of the trainees we train for the North sea there.


Learning to use HTML 5 and the manifest file format, which I had not used before will be very useful in the future. Finding a better HTML 5 tool which would allow us to put usable zooming features into our designs would be good since then all phones could be used.

 Convincing management that all new FCV systems need to ship with a pad will take a little longer but I know a new senior manager has downloaded and is using it to familiarise himself with our core machine.

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