ECS awarded Phase III SBIR project for VR casualty care training for military working dogs

In Virtual Reality News

February 6, 2023 – Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS), a provider of extended reality (XR) training solutions, has recently announced that the company has been awarded a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project for ‘Military Working Dog (MWD) Casualty Care in Virtual Reality’ by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command – Soldier Center (CCDC SC).

According to ECS, the company will be adding canine (K9) interventions in its Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Simulation (TC3Sim) in an effort to allow soldiers with limited medical expertise to train for hands-on medical and veterinary practices.

ECS noted that the project will help to enhance existing training with multisensory experiential lessons that utilize immersive technologies such as virtual reality. Lessons will cover training scenarios that are not otherwise readily accessible in existing TCCC, Combat LifeSaver (CLS), veterinary care, K9 trauma manikins, or other training scenarios. In addition, a larger audience of soldiers with non-related military occupational specialties may be exposed to TCCC, Canine TCCC, and MWD training, according to ECS.

Mick Golson, ECS President, stated: “This increased accessibility enables soldiers with limited medical experience to train hands-on for specific medical and veterinary care procedures in order to recognize injuries and to apply treatment before they become more critical. We are proud to continue our work within the SBIR program and to potentially save more lives by enhancing this type of training.”

The ECS team will also improve upon the use of haptic devices in support of TCCC and integrate these devices within the current TC3Sim Synthetic Training Environment utilizing virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR). In doing so, trainees will benefit from realistic and anatomically accurate tactile feedback from haptic devices, enabling them to build muscle memory and self-efficacy for better retention of training materials.

ECS added that in related research projects, the company has developed a minimally viable prototype using TC3Sim for the MWD role, which includes a medium detail K9 asset in a battlefield environment that can move and show the onset of heatstroke. Trainee handlers can interact with the canine and perform basic interventions by menu commands that help them to identify and prevent the heatstroke. ECS noted that this particular prototype is at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5.

FInally, the company stated that the tasks related to the Phase III project are expected to be completed by July 2023. For more information on ECS and its XR training solutions, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: ECS

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.