Academic program Choose suit

AVRT: Taking a Closer Look at the VR Training (Part 2)

The Adaptive Virtual Reality Training team has integrated the TESLASUIT into law enforcement and military scenario-based platform. The training program proved to deliver a broad range of complex scenarios to enhance training and improve decision making in high-pressure realistic situations.

We questioned Andy Higgs, Sales Director, about the AVRT & Teslasuit partnership, implemented scenarious, and the potential of haptic technology for simulated training.

Why did your choice fall on the TESLASUIT to be integrated into your training platform? Which systems are of most interest to you?

The reason that we started the collaboration with Teslasuit is because we wanted to put some form of haptics into the system. And obviously the TESLASUIT is a fantastic piece of equipment that allows us to effectively utilize the three key points on it. So we use the haptic feedback to simulate a variety of different things. Primarily incentive to not get things wrong in scenarios so we can simulate bullet strikes, conducted energy, weapon strikes, those sorts of things.

We also use the biometry. It is really important when you’re looking at how people are performing in VR scenarios. So our replays have a user interface that actually displays things like heart rate against the action that’s happening and that gives us an insight into how the body is being affected by the stresses we’re placing on people. And to a lesser extent, we also have an interest in using some of the motion capture facilities to just improve the realism and movement of avatars and characters in the system.

AVRT & Teslasuit Technical Partnership

What else sets the TESLASUIT apart from other similar devices?

The TESLASUIT itself, I think, is a brilliantly designed bit of kit. We’ve done fairly extensive testing with it. One of the key points for us with either system was making sure whatever technology we used was very light touch and was fairly easy to use. Putting it on, a jacket and trousers, is relatively simple. It doesn’t involve, you know, hundreds of sensors all over the body or trackers or anything like that. So, usage of it, the feeling of the suit when you’re in a scenario is very good. It’s very easy to kind of forget that you are effectively wearing a piece of kit like that.

What are the use cases you’re using or looking to use the TESLASUIT in?

The most appealing use cases for us have been around biometry. One of cases is about being able to train people to still be effective even though they may have already received an injury or strike. It’s not something we’ve experimented with in any great detail yet, but I’m aware that the suit is able to affect certain muscle groups limiting their usage. So it’s an area of interest for us that we might be able to lock someone’s arm up, for example, meaning that they have to either switch hands or they have to try and seek cover effectively limiting their operational effectiveness.

AVRT: Taking a Closer Look at the VR Training (Part 2) 1

We’ve also started looking for the use cases to distract people, to induce additional stress with a visual and audio effect of a rainstorm with the suit giving haptic feedback or raindrops hitting you that would be something that would induce a lot of distraction and stress.

So it’s not just limited to the areas that we’ve fully explored so far. There are plenty of other areas that I think the TESLASUIT could be useful for.

What feedback do you get from people training with the TESLASUIT on?

We take the TESLASUIT out with us on virtually every demonstration we do. They’re all different degrees of usage, but the users that go into the system with the TESLASUIT on, the feedback is generally that it does sharpen their focus. It takes them away from the idea that there is a game. And we do see that when we do a sort of a serious day training with people in full tactical care, there is a change in the way they treat the simulation. Whereas on a demonstration where they’re just trying things out, it tends to be a little bit more light hearted. The feedback is generally very, very good. It gives the enhanced feeling that things can go wrong and you can get some sort of consequence, some sort of feedback. If you find yourself out in the open and an enemy sees you, for example.

What further improvements do you expect in terms of the suit’s systems as a user?

The haptics is very, very good already. So I think primarily it’s around the biometry. I know there is still some work going on with the biometry, so that’s a big one for us. The more we can understand about the physiology of the trainee, the better. So the more information we can get out of the suit, the better.

I’ve mentioned before, the price point. I appreciate that it’s being worked on as well. We are just waiting for the new generation of suits. So hopefully that will improve things straight away for us in terms of how the biometry works.

Does the technologies like the TESLASUIT help to reduce training costs?

Yeah, I think simulated training as a whole has a huge potential to be able to reduce costs of training and not only reduce cost. Even if we’re not necessarily reducing cost, we’re able to access more training and different environments. We genuinely believe that VR training, whether with or without haptics, has some really good opportunities to not only improve the quality of training, but also to be able to get more training out for lower costs. And I see the TESLASUIT being a part of that journey.

What are key barriers in massive use of haptic technologies for simulated training?

There are two main barriers I can see to that. One of them is the availability of quality simulation. And that’s obviously one of the things that we are trying very hard to address. You know, we are increasing our approach to law enforcement and military with the systems.

The price is the other one. And I think when there is the TESLASUIT, for example, that has a slightly cut down version both in price and functionality, it almost becomes like personal protective equipment. You issue PPE to new starters at the start of their training course and they potentially will keep that piece of equipment for the duration of their training that will then tie into any simulated training they do.

If those two barriers can be overcome and if organizations such as police academies are using XR training or simulated training systems routinely, then I think haptic technology will naturally fit into that.

What are the perspectives of using haptics or similar technologies for simulated training? Do you see any potential there?

Yeah, absolutely. I’m hugely excited about haptics and where that entire industry is going. Even in the last few years, the developments in some of the products are incredible. We are obviously very interested in full body haptics. That’s a particular use to us. We’ve done the project fully integrating one of the haptic gloves from one of the major suppliers. And as soon as there are advancements, the form factor is primarily this thing that will impact us and because there aren’t many haptic gloves at the moment that will fit through a trigger guard on a weapon and obviously being one of our primary use cases, that’s quite important to us.

But yeah, the area of haptics has the potential to take simulated training into a completely new level.

Images and videos are taken from AVRT official LinkedIn account and YouTube channel.