Virtual Interface for Real-Time User Control during Simulated Operations

The VIRTUOSO toolkit can be applied to any virtual environment. We’ve used it to improve our simulated military medical training and applied it to our maintenance training simulation systems that teach operators how to diagnose and repair complicated systems of systems.

The Problem

The military’s shift towards mixed reality, virtual reality, and augmented reality (XR) 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.”

The Charles River Analytics Solution

The Virtual Interface for Real-Time User Control during Simulated Operations (VIRTUOSO) is an XR software development kit (SDK) designed to let developers rapidly and consistently develop XR-based simulations, without being an XR expert. The VIRTUOSO SDK provides a hardware-agnostic XR development to enable rapid prototyping of immersive XR experiences and advanced XR interactions with flexible haptic, gesture, and speech control libraries, and focuses on supporting natural human interactions within a virtual environment to foster more realistic virtual simulations and training.

The VIRTUOSO SDK expedites XR content and experience development, while minimizing the risk associated with novel XR solutions development by encoding XR best practices and providing off-the-shelf software components that solve some of the hardest challenges currently facing XR developers.


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The Situation

The VIRTUOSO toolkit can be applied to any virtual environment simulation. We have implemented it within our military medical training simulation systems, such as those that address combat casualty training. It automatically assesses 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. For example, we’ve leveraged connections with leading MR/VR/AR industry companies so VIRTUOSO simulations can support the most cutting-edge haptic feedback devices the day they are released to market.

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Contact us to learn more about VIRTUOSO and our other capabilities.

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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