American military research and manufacturing company Picatinny Arsenal, has created the Robotic Vehicle Trainer, a "realistic" video game that can be used to train soldiers to operate bomb disposal robots. Picatinny Arsenal has received a patent for "a process to safely train soldiers how to operate a variety of robots used in Iraq and Afghanistan to detonate improvised explosive devices, or IEDs."
The company created Robotic Vehicle Trainer to give soldiers a realistic simulation of IED removal in a combat environments. The game uses the same controls used for the real-world robots used in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).
Robotic Vehicle Trainer was created by Bernard Reger, chief of the Combat Support & Munitions Systems Branch under the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Centre (ARDEC).
"The virtual environment inserts the student into hazardous environments enabling familiarization with the robotic vehicle and EOD bomb disposal tools," Reger said. "The U.S. Army will be able to control the intellectual property of this process if it is being used by a contractor in developing robotic vehicle trainers."
The virtual operator control unit, essentially a video-game controller, is built with the same joysticks, switches, dials and display features as a "fielded robot." This gives soldiers familiarity with the touch and feel of the real controls while in training. This control unit can be connected to a laptop computer which runs the software application, allowing trainees to use the system anywhere including the classroom and the field.
Reger began working on the game and control unit in 2003 as an experiment to put the Talon robot used by EOD Soldiers into a virtual environment using America's Army.
Source: Defence Web