Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, recently partnered with Sensics, Inc., creators of the OSVR software stack; Technology, Modeling & Simulation, and Training Consultants (TMST), who provide consulting expertise across the spectrum of live, virtual and constructive training of emerging technologies; and the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC), which provides virtual reality exposure therapy. Together, the team designed and developed the VIRTUOSO interface for the US Army Research Laboratory. VIRTUOSO supports natural human interactions in mixed reality/virtual reality/augmented reality (MR/VR/AR) environments.
The military’s shift towards mixed MR/VR/AR training in recent years has yielded safer training at a lower cost than live operations and a more immersive experience than traditional, two-dimensional displays and partial dome environments.
“Although the benefits of these virtual environments are clear, supporting natural human interactions is still challenging,” said Dr. Michael Jenkins, Senior Scientist at Charles River. “During live training, trainees develop learned muscle memory for critical physical tasks. We must support natural interactions so they can develop that same muscle memory in virtual environments.”
- Fine- and gross-motor movement acquisition. VIRTUOSO unobtrusively acquires fine- and gross-motor movements using a range of commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) peripherals.
- Automated skills proficiency assessment. VIRTUOSO implements task-tailored skill models with data fusion and probabilistic modeling techniques to infer indicators of skill proficiency.
Untethered VR training using the VIRTUOSO natural control platform toolkit
While the VIRTUOSO toolkit can be applied to any virtual environment simulation, it will initially improve military medical training and education by advancing medical simulation systems, such as those that address combat casualty training. It can automatically assess skill performance and integrates hierarchical models of the abilities and techniques that contribute to overall skill proficiency, allowing users to conduct self-guided training and receive individualized performance feedback to drive improvement. At the same time, expert trainers have the ability to remotely observe these training sessions to provide additional guidance to trainees based on their real-time training performance. Because VIRTUOSO gracefully incorporates so many leading commercial control and display peripherals, it can support training with the equipment best suited to a training task, or support training with the equipment available to an individual when they wish to train. This training robustness means simulations that incorporate the VIRTUOSO framework are resilient to future technology advances.
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Human Research & Engineering Directorate (HRED) - Advanced Training and Simulation Division (ATSD) and the Army Contracting Command (ACC)-Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG)-Research Triangle Park Division (ACC-APG-RTP), Orlando Branch under Contract No. W911NF-16-C-0011. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ATSD.
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About Charles River Analytics: Since 1983, Charles River Analytics has been delivering intelligent systems that transform our customers' data into mission-relevant tools and solutions to support critical assessment and decision-making. Charles River continues to grow its technology, customer base, and strategic alliances through research and development programs for the DoD, DHS, NASA, and the Intelligence Community. We address a broad spectrum of mission areas and functional domains, including sensor and image processing, situation assessment and decision aiding, human systems integration, cyber security, human-robot interaction, and robot localization and automation. These efforts have resulted in a series of successful products that support continued growth in our core R&D contracting business, as well as the commercial sector. Charles River became an employee-owned company in 2012, to set the stage for the next-generation of innovation, service, and growth.