WSi News2017-05-08 15:52:52

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AUGGMED brings reality to the Virtual Reality training of first responders

AUGGMED is a European Commission H2020 funded €5.5m, 36 month project, which aims to develop its serious game platform so that it can provide training for first responders. Now, two years into the project, AUGGMED is well on the path to showing how virtual and mixed reality training of first responders can be applied at a practical level.

AUGGMED is linked up with the state-of-the-art evacuation and circulation simulation software tool EXODUS which models crowd behavior based on best available data. The developed system allows end users to assume a variety of roles within the simulation and to interact with a simulated crowd. In addition, AUGGMED implements mathematical models that describe the effects of fire hazards and explosions on people and infrastructure.

Laurence Marzell, Serco’s Combined Effect Lead and Exploitation Manager for AUGGMED, said: ““This multimodal VR and MR platform will be able to be used anywhere, via a variety of devices and technologies from smartphones and tablets to high-end PCs with multiple monitors and Head Mounted Displays.

“With terrorism, natural disasters and man-made accidents continuing to be a major threat to life and infrastructure around the globe, it is becoming increasingly challenging for first responders to predict, prepare and respond against attacks or disasters.  In the past training for these has used traditional live scenarios through full-scale exercises. But with their increasing cost, time constraints and inability to fully replicate real world life threatening incidents, VR and MR training (such as that being developed by AUGGMED) significantly reduces the major cost and time resources of these traditional methods whilst at the same time increasing the frequency and availability of training opportunities.”

With two pilots of the AUGGMED system successful completed and a further one planned for Greece in early 2018, based on mixed rather than virtual reality, the reality of how Virtual and Mixed reality training of first responders in Europe and beyond is able to deliver real practical value and application to societal safety, security and resilience is being clearly demonstrated by the AUGGMED project.

Under the coordination of BMT Group Ltd, AUGGMED is a consortium of 14 project partners from six EU countries. Partners include: Serco; University of Greenwich; Piraeus Port Authority; Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya; University of Birmingham; GEOMOBILE; Sistema D’Emergencies Mediques; Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire; CENTRIC at Sheffield Hallam University; Israteam; Konstantinos Kardaras (Integration Power); Ministry of Citizens Protection and Unversidad Politécnica de Madrid.

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