A virtual reality glovebox with dynamic safety modeling for improved criticality regulation visualization

Kyle Embry*, Andrea Hengartner-Cuellar, Hannah Ross, David Mascareñas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Technicians working in gloveboxes must vigilantly keep track of the locations of the radioactive materials they work with in order to make sure they do not inadvertently perform an action that can lead to a technical criticality safety violation. The administrative consequences of these mistakes can result in halting work in a facility and can be costly. The process currently used to ensure safe operations requires every two technicians to be monitored and documented by a third technician, thus resulting in large overhead costs. This work aims to help reduce the possibility of incurring an administrative criticality violation by tracking the dynamics of nuclear materials located inside a glovebox. Emerging technologies in sensing and virtual/augmented reality were combined with knowledge of nuclear criticality regulations to create a prototype Interactive Electronic Work Control System. Visual and depth sensors are used to detect the dynamically changing location of fissile materials in a glovebox during simulated working conditions. These measurements are then fed into a representative criticality safety model to determine appropriate separation distances between different materials. A visual depiction of these models is overlaid on representations of physical objects using virtual reality technologies to enhance the operator’s perception of criticality safety regulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series
Issue number2015
StatePublished - 2015
Event33rd IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics, 2015 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2015Feb 5 2015


  • 3D sensing
  • Augmented reality
  • Glovebox
  • Nuclear criticality safety
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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