Hollywood technology to test crucial decision-making skills of tank commanders

The U.S. Army has announced that it has enlisted the help of some of the brightest minds in the tech industry to test and evaluate crucial decision-making skills of tank commanders on the battlefield.

According to Joe Lacdan, to achieve that goal, the service extended its reach thousands of miles west from Fort Benning’s Maneuver Center of Excellence in Georgia — where tank crews normally train — to Los Angeles.

Researchers here at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California through a partnership with the Army have developed a mixed reality program, the Synthetic Collective Operational Prototyping Environment, or SCOPE.

The program focuses on the cognitive aspect of the training — the critical battlefield responses a tank commander makes — by placing the student in a simulated, immersive 3D-training environment.

ICT researcher David Krum said tank commanders must be vigilant to status updates from unit leadership at mission command and incoming enemy aircraft hovering overhead, making decisions that affect the lives of the other three tank crew members.

The technology can evaluate a student’s performance in the virtual reality, multi-player program by using specially-positioned sensors that track eye movement and body position. The ICT development team hopes the training will lead to rapid efficiency while helping students retain information at a higher rate.

“If they can get more repetitions in for the training, people get more practice (for) when they actually go into combat or actually go into a field exercise,” Krum said. “They’ve already done missions before. They can approach that more confidently and save time.”

Photo by Institute for Creative Technologies

Researchers have spent nearly two years developing the technology in an enclosed studio space within the ICT headquarters — a striking complex of trapezium-shaped structures, covered by cascading, tinted windows. Programmers in suits and polo shirts occupy the bright studio, …read more

Read more here:: Defence Blog (Land)

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