Charles River Analytics Develops an Extended Reality Toolkit for Care Under Fire Training

By analyzing which perceptual cues and heuristics soldiers use to make decisions in the field, Charles River scientists will ensure that HOPLITE provides the haptic primitives and user interactions necessary for Care Under Fire training.

Charles River Analytics developed Haptics Ontology and Peripheral Layer for Integrative Training Environments (HOPLITE) for the US Army. HOPLITE is an extended reality (XR) toolkit that lets Army instructors create realistic, haptics-integrated training scenarios. These immersive training scenarios let soldiers safely practice stress-inducing, risky operations, such as the Care Under Fire phase of Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

The reactive, uncertain, and fire-focused nature of Care Under Fire cannot be effectively trained in the classroom—what really works are expensive, live action training events. HOPLITE will deliver the same experience at a much lower cost.

“When you look at the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Guidelines, the Care Under Fire training material takes up about a quarter of a page,” said Dr. James Niehaus, Principal Scientist at Charles River Analytics and Principal Investigator on the HOPLITE effort. “It’s simple on paper—return fire, get cover, stop life-threatening external hemorrhages—but incredibly complex and situation-dependent in practice.”

The Charles River team worked with retired combat medics to characterize the real world nuances of Care Under Fire and leverage XR to build a training solution that can truly prepare soldiers for these otherwise hard-to-train, life-or-death situations.

The scientists are integrating HOPLITE with haptic feedback systems, such as the HaptX Gloves DK2. Charles River is among the first companies to get access to HaptX’s novel glove technology, which allows users to feel the shape, movement, texture, and weight of virtual objects.

Integration with the HaptX Gloves will allow HOPLITE to deliver realistic training experiences, enabling swift learning of time critical life-saving techniques.

HOPLITE will extend Charles River’s open-source XR software development kit, VIRTUOSO SDK (VSDK). Originally applied to improve military medical training and education, VSDK empowers developers to generate naturalistic interactions with content through its reaction system, providing a truly intuitive interaction space. VSDK simplifies XR development, providing a free platform to push the boundaries of XR in healthcare, automotive, entertainment, and other industries.

Contact us to learn more about HOPLITE and our other augmented, virtual, and mixed reality capabilities.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (CCDC SC) SFC Paul Ray Smith Simulation & Training Technology Center (STTC) under contract No. W912CG-20-P-0001. 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 CCDC-SC STTC.

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