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Japanese firm Sinfonia Develops VR Training System Specialized in “Radio Control Operation” of Cranes

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Sinfonia Corporation (Fuchu City, Tokyo, CEO: Yutaka Seto), a company engaged in XR content development, has announced the completion of a radio control training system for their previously sold “Small Mobile Crane VR Training System”.

This system is designed for everyone who operates small mobile cranes, from novice operators who have obtained their qualification but have never been on-site, to veteran operators in need of re-education, enabling efficient learning.

The product is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2024 or later, representing the “Enhanced XR” system developed by Sinfonia Corporation.

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“Enhanced XR” refers to a technique that enhances the user experience by integrating sensation-enhancing devices with XR, achieving a level of operability and immersion not possible with traditional VR and AR devices. It promises a high learning effect through a realistic “operating experience” that is not possible with just VR controllers.

In-House Developed Radio Control Device

The radio control device used in the “Radio Control Version Small Mobile Crane VR Training System” has been developed in-house by the company over approximately two years since 2021.

To closely replicate the feel of operating a real small mobile crane’s radio control, the company went through multiple rounds of prototype development.

The initial prototype developed in 2022, although similar in shape, did not satisfy in terms of the feel of operation and grip, leading to a complete redesign.

Around the autumn of 2023, a radio control device matching the real one in size, operational feel, and grip was completed after revising the entire design.

It achieves an operational feel similar to real radio controls, combining four types of operation selection switches and an index finger speed lever.

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Touch sensor reacts and is reflected in VR

Additionally, the operation selection switches are touch-sensitive, showing in VR which switch the user is touching. Designed for easy one-handed operation, the grip shape and the feel of the speed lever (how it presses) were refined through numerous tests, adjusting the spring strength and placement to match the real thing.

Radio Control Version Small Mobile Crane VR Training

Radio control operation and operation confirmation

This content is aimed at those who have no experience operating small mobile cranes with radio controls. It teaches how to operate the radio control to manipulate the crane from scratch.

Within this content, learners will practice extending and retracting the boom, rotating, lifting, and lowering the hook, each operation separately. They can practice as many times as needed until satisfied.

After learning all the operations, a test is prepared to check if learners can operate the crane to a designated location, allowing for self-assessment of skill acquisition.

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Explanation of the switches
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Steering test

Basic Training

This content is intended for those who want to learn the procedures common in small mobile crane worksites.

In actual worksites, besides crane operation, tasks like negotiating with stakeholders and setting up restricted zones are required. Especially, procedures to ensure safety are crucial, as ignoring even one can lead to serious accidents.

Basic training allows learners to sequentially learn the workflow necessary in any worksite, starting with confirming the work details with personnel and then removing obstacles.

It is ideal not only for newcomers to worksites but also as a re-education tool for veterans.

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Moving the hook to the top of the suspension
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Moving the suspension to the luggage carrier

Intuitive interface

Radio controlled version Small mobile crane VR training system uses hand tracking and touches space without the use of a VR controller due to the relationship the trainee has with the radio control device. It uses a UI to take action in the VR.

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Select menu or teleport destination with spatial touch

Also, when operating a small mobile crane with a radio controlled, it is almost possible for the pilot to work while moving, so 「 radio controlled version small mobile crane VR training system 」 can also be trained in tight spaces. So that、It is a mechanism that can be moved by teleport to each point.

( If you have a large space, it is also possible for the pilot to perform VR training while moving in the space )

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How to select a teleport destination

Development background

They started selling 「 small mobile crane VR training system 」 in December 2020.

To date, they have exhibited at many events, including 「 National Crane Safety Tournament 」 sponsored by the General Company Corporation Japan Crane Association and 「 HANAZONOEXPO 2023 」, which was held as an outpost event for the Osaka Expo.

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Exhibited at 「 42nd National Crane Safety Tournament 」 held in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture in November 2022

In addition, the utility and operability of 「 small mobile crane VR training system 」 was evaluated and sponsored by the daily industrial newspaper company 「 34th SME Excellence New Technology/New Product Award 」 , Alongside Tokyo 「 Tokyo Contents/They have received the incentive award from the Solution Business Award 2022 」.

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「 34th SME Excellence New Technology/New Product Award 」 Awards Ceremony

They have received various feedback from many people and have made multiple updates. Among them, the most frequent feedback from those who have experienced their system was a request for the development of training using radio control.

In small mobile crane driving schools, training is conducted only using lever controls. However, after obtaining their qualifications, most crane operators at work sites use radio controls instead of levers. Currently, about 90% of small mobile crane operations at work sites are done via radio control (according to their research).

Considering this, the company started developing a radio control device and content simulating actual work sites in 2021, with the idea of providing a training system based on radio control operation. This system could serve as routine training in the workplace.

Furthermore, this product has been selected for the Tokyo Metropolitan Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Corporation’s “Product Improvement/Standard Compliance & Certification Acquisition Support Project.”

Future Developments

The product is planned to start accepting orders from spring onwards. As part of its future developments, they plan to implement “Hazard Experience Training (Safety Training).” In the hazard experience training, users will be able to experience various accidents in VR, such as the sinking of the ground due to the deployment of outriggers on soft ground, and the tipping over of the vehicle body due to insufficient extension of outriggers.

By experiencing these accidents in VR, users can be better prepared to avoid similar incidents in reality. This experience is expected to have significant effects in preventing major accidents and promoting safety awareness.

Company Name: Sinfonia Corporation
Location: 2-15-13 Miyamachi, Fuchu City, Tokyo, Dai-15 Mitsuki Building 3F
Representative: Yutaka Seto, Representative Director
Established: May 2014
Official Website:
Company Website:

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