Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA
(617) 491-3474

Charles River Analytics Inc., a developer of intelligent systems solutions, recently partnered with Sensics, Inc., creators of the OSVR software stack; Technology, Modeling & Simulation, and Training Consultants (TMST), who provide consulting expertise across the spectrum of live, virtual and constructive training of emerging technologies; and the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC), which provides virtual reality exposure therapy. Together, the team designed and developed the VIRTUOSO interface for the US Army Research Laboratory. VIRTUOSO supports natural human interactions in mixed reality/virtual reality/augmented reality (MR/VR/AR) environments.

The military's shift towards mixed MR/VR/AR training in recent years has yielded safer training at a lower cost than live operations, as well as a more immersive experience than traditional, two-dimensional displays and partial dome environments.

According to 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.”

Toward that end, VIRTUOSO is designed to unobtrusively acquire fine- and gross-motor movements using commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) peripherals. It is also designed to perform automated skills proficiency assessment by implementing task-tailored skill models with data fusion and probabilistic modeling techniques to infer indicators of skill proficiency.

While the VIRTUOSO toolkit can be applied to any virtual environment simulation, it will initially improve military medical training and education by advancing medical simulation systems, such as those that address combat casualty training. It can automatically assess 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 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.

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