Auggmed: Police and first responders training enters mixed reality
As technological advances and shifting dynamics create constantly changing threat scenarios, training first-line practitioners becomes a challenge. As real-life training scenarios for every possible situation would be too expensive and also too dangerous, the EU funded Auggmed offers solutions.
Delivered through virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR), Auggmed offers a training platform for police, security forces and counter-terrorist units as well as first responders. Coordinated by the BMT Group, together with 13 partners, research and development of this EU funded project was completed by May 2018. Auggmed deals with the present difficulties of conducting real life training scenarios: costs and danger. Therefore, Auggmed, according to project coordinator Jenny Rainbird “provides a safe, flexible training environment that can be accessed from any location by multiple agencies. Trainees can assume a variety of roles, making AUGGMED a cost-effective solution when compared with live training exercises.”
For more information or to create contact you can visit Auggmed´s website here.
How does it work
The platform enables training in different VR environments with different scenarios. It can also apply this training in the real infrastructure environment using mixed reality techniques. As such, AUGGMED benefits from an automated game scenario engine, which generates crowds randomly and defines game logics. These are based on team and individual objectives set by the trainer and can be based on non-linear adaptive scenarios supporting multiple outcomes.
Therefore, the trainer can customise many aspects of the scenario, and trigger events such as explosions, evacuations or suspicious bags. Further, he can monitor the progress made and provide feedback. Additionally, AUGGMED: “is ‘doctrine neutral’, meaning that organisations can train and assess their staff using their own training needs, procedures and protocols.” Moreover, the trainees are able to interact with the virtually generated crowd
Suitable for single and cooperative team-based training, Auggmed offers its users three training modes:
- Basic mode (Basic VR)
This mode enables training anywhere using a PC and/or portable devices with limited interactivity. Trainees “can interact with virtual and real agents (with avatar) who join the training session remotely”. To conduct training, the trainees do not have to be at the same physical location.
- Intermediate Mode (Immersive Multimodal VR)
This mode enables two options:
Either training anywhere using immersive VR, following the same procedure as the Basic Mode but supporting VR instead of a PC and/or portable device with limited interactivity.
Or training On-Site using projection based immersive VR (limited mobility and tactile feedback), where trainees can interact with virtual and real agents represented by avatars.
- Full Mode (Immersive Multimodal MR On-Site)
The final mode offers training On-Site using immersive MR (full mobility and advanced tactile feedback). Trainees can interact with simulated avatars as well as avatars controlled by other trainees who join the training session remotely.
However, while a trainer can deploy a single mode to conduct and offer training, Auggmed recommends a combination of the modes.
For instance: “the operators of a transport terminal can schedule regular and frequent training drills using Mode 1 to keep a minimum the level of security staff readiness while scheduling Mode 2 and/or Mode 3 in irregular and less frequent intervals or whenever they feel that the staff involved are ready to proceed to the next level of training”.
Moreover, the platform also enables training with multiple agencies at the same time. This means, collaborative training between, for instance the police force, security personnel and paramedics is possible.
Having been tested, in three controlled pilots, by 130 professionals, Auggmed has received a “overwhelmingly positive reponse” according Rainbird. Hence, not surprisingly Auggmed is already in use, for example, by British police officers for critical incident response and training and security officers with the Piraeus Port Authority in Greece for potential terrorist-related threats.
Note: This article is based on Auggmend´s website, an EU Cordis entry about the project and a news article by Hanna Watkin.
Author: Niklas Hamann
Auggmed (2019). The serious game platform. Available at: http://www.auggmed-project.eu/
European Commission (2019). Police and first responder training enters mixed reality. In: Cordis Available at: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/194875/brief/en
Hanna Watkin (2019). AUGGMED Trains Police and Aid Workers for Terror Related Attacks using VR. In: All3DP Available at: https://all3dp.com/auggmed-trains-police-aid-workers-terror-related-attacks-using-vr/
VR, AR, MR, H2020, project, training, terrorism