• News Release

JAPAN’S FIRST Industry-Academia-Government Joint R&D Specialized in VR for Firefighters’ Drill  Cooperation among Rikei, The University of Tokyo Virtual Reality Educational Research Center, Tokyo University of Science, and Yokohama City Fire Bureau

Rikei Corporation (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Satoru Isaka; hereinafter “Rikei”), is pleased to announce that it concluded a contract for joint research and development of VR (virtual reality) systems through industry-academia-government collaboration. With the technical support from Nittan Co., Ltd., four fire experiments were conducted at experiment building of Center for Fire Science and Technology, Tokyo University if Science. It is Japan’s first to transfer measurement data to VR to develop a system.

Outline of the joint R&D

The VR system for firefighter’s drill specialized in education and drill for firefighters is going to be completed by the end of Mar. 2021.

Members of the joint R&D

・VR Research and Development

The University of Tokyo Virtual Reality Educational Research Center

Prof. Michitaka Hirose, Associate Prof.Tomohiro Amemiya, Research Associate. Kazuma Aoyama

・Fire Experiment and Analysis

Department of Architecture, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science

Prof. Yoshifumi Omiya

・ Education / Drill research / Validation

Yokohama City Fire Bureau Fire Drill Center Management / Research Section

・ Development of the VR

Rikei Corporation

Purpose of using VR technology for firefighter’s drill

Across Japan, although number of knowledgeable and experienced firefighters is decreasing, percentage of young, less-experienced firefighter is rapidly increasing. On the other hand, the number of fires has declined by 6% to 8% every year, and it is getting difficult to grow in experience at actual fire sites for firefighters. Firefighters’ activities require not only book knowledge, but also experience at actual fire sites. Therefore, the VR firefighting education and drill system is currently under developed to compensate for experience in an environment as close as possible to actual fire site. by doing drill at fire site reproduced by the VR system, firefighters can accumulate experience, prevent martyrdom/injury, and improve the quality of firefighting activities.

<< Proportion by age of firefighters 2018 (statistics by Fire Chief’s Association of Japan) >>

・ Young adult segment: between 18 and 30 years of age ⇒ 33.04% (Yokohama City: 29.4%)

・ Senior segment: between 50 and 59 years of age ⇒ 18.49% (Yokohama City: 25.8%)

Details of the Joint R&D: VR system for firefighter’s Drill

(1)Scientific reproduction of virtual fire phenomenon

Reproduce a fire site by actually burning an interior of a building to measure heat distribution on the axis of temperature, movement of smoke, and behavior of blaze. While accurately capturing fire phenomena that change with time, it also reproduces the interaction with firefighting activities.

(2) Multiple people can work together in a same VR environment

By recording data of the firefighting activities by multiple people in the VR space, it enables to confirm what can improve, experience experienced firefighter’s activity vicariously.

(3) Identification of perceptual information used for making decisions during firefighting activities

Since information from sensory organ is also important for firefighter’s activities at an actual fire site, simulate what kind of perceptual information is used to make determinations and act actually at a fire site by using a device that provide the same sense as in reality.

Extract situational judgment and tacit knowledge through sensory information, and study effects from a psychological and medical perspective.

Development of the VR system

Based on detailed measurement data obtained from the fire experiments, Rikei is dedicated to develop technologies that can visualize heat distribution heat distribution on the axis of temperature, movement of smoke, and behavior of blaze, using “Unreal Engine” as a VR development environment.

Future development

Based on the results of the R&D, Rikei will reproduce various on-site environments. In addition, further collaboration among industry, academia, and government will lead to technological development and social implementation that will reduce the number of injuries and martyrdom, while incorporating cutting-edge elements such as haptics (*), * Haptics: haptic technology that provides skin sensation feedback by applying force, vibration, movement, etc. to users.

About Rikei Corporation

Established in 1957, Rikei Corporation is a solution provider for the IT and electronics industries.

Rikei offers a wide variety of solutions centered on the world’s cutting edge technologies and advanced products in the fields of system solutions, such as entrance exam and educational affairs systems and IT infrastructure, business strategy, and information security solutions. It also provides network solutions, such as satellite communication data transfer systems, digital video transfer systems, network systems for telecommunication operators and other private companies, wireless access systems, and disaster management information systems. In addition to solutions, Rikei provides electronic components and devices, such as high frequency components, high performance adhesives for industrial use, testers for automotive audio and navigation equipment, power grid analysis systems, defense-related machinery and security systems.

Headquarters Address: Shinjuku Nomura Building, 1-26-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0535, Japan
Capital: 3,427 million (as of the end of March, 2017)
President & CEO: Satoru Isaka
Field of Business: Sales of the following;
  • System Solutions
  • Network Solutions
  • Electronic Components & Instruments
Corporate URL:

*Unreal and its logo are Epic’s trademarks or registered trademarks in the US and elsewhere.

*Product and company names mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


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