Army tasks Charles River Analytics to build VR/AR training interface

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. U.S. Army officials tasked Charles River Analytics Inc. to build a virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) training interface as part of continued efforts in advanced, agile, customer-focused engineering. The two-year contract - from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory - is valued at approximately $500,000.

Engineers will build the Virtual for Real-Time User Control during Simulated Operations (VIRTUOSO) alongside the company's partners within the VIRTUOSO effort that include Sensics, Inc.; Technology, Modeling & Simulation, and Training (TMST) Consultants; and the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC).

To facilitate efficient and robust skill development, VIRTUOSO will provide integrated capabilities for automatically assessing skill performance, integrating hierarchical models of the abilities and techniques that contribute to overall skill proficiency.

“While the training benefits of VR/AR environments are clear, one significant challenge is how to support natural human interactions,” says Dr. Michael Jenkins, Senior Scientist at Charles River and Principal Investigator on the VIRTUOSO effort. “There is a need to support the same natural interactions that take place during live training operations, to facilitate the same skill development experienced in live training simulations that result in learned muscle memory for critical physical tasks. We are addressing this challenge in VIRTUOSO for both gross-motor movement, such as navigating through the virtual environment, and fine-motor movement, such as control of precision tools and interaction with virtual objects with one’s hands and fingers.”

Read more on virtual reality technology:
Demand rising for military simulation & training tech, virtual reality tools, and head-worn displays
Virtual reality technology can ease design process for combat vehicles
Discrete vs distributed: Transforming military training and simulation systems

Topics covered in this article