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Projects of the joint German-Austrian call 2013

MRespond – Multi-User Mixed Reality system for flexible trainings of first responders

|   Call 2020

The goal of the project is to develop a mixed reality training system to expand training capabilities for first responders to create better emergency preparedness for commanders and operational units.

In cases of emergency, first responders of fire departments, emergency medical services and armed forces need to assess situations correctly and apply their training skillfully and efficiently , especially in major incidents. To gain these abilities, they need training in realistic conditions that will prepare them optimally for dangerous situations. However, these situations often can only be recreated at high cost or with great difficulty and thus will reduce the effect of training. Mixed Reality (MR) technologies provide the possibility to display virtual hazards realistically in a physical training environment. Currently some MR applications for first responder training exist, but none of those provide unrestricted movement and enough interaction with the virtual world to achieve optimal training effects. Moreover, they provide no adaptability to train variants of certain scenarios. Within this project, a MR training system will be created, that allows first responders to work together on assessing and clearing hazardous situations in two scenarios (large-scale structural fire and a scenario with chemical hazards). The focus is on unrestricted movement within large scale training grounds with outdoor and multi -storied indoor areas as well as on adaptability of the training and interaction between virtual elements and the real world. Visible (fire, smoke, ...) as well as invisible (chemical agents detectable with respective measurement devices) virtual hazards can be placed in the training environment. Casualties are simulated using ALS (Advanced Life Support) dolls with virtually displayed realistic injuries in accordance with the training scenario. The actions of the first responders will influence the flow of the simulation (e.g. smoke venting by opening windows, state of casualties by decisions during triage). To achieve these goals, robust localization and tracking methods to determine the position of the trainee indoors as well as outdoors and object detection algorithms are needed. Furthermore, methods for the interactions between real and virtual elements and for the control and adaptability of the scenario by the supervisor need to be created.

During the project, the training progress will be recorded, and the success of training evaluated. Further, the acceptance of trainings with virtual elements within a real -world environment will be examined. Also, the compatibility of such trainings with existing training standards and other legal regulations will be addressed. Furthermore, the effects of the trainee’s age and gender on training success as well as differences in treatment of patients based on their virtual appearance (Gender, age, ethnic background) will be examined.

Elisabeth Broneder
AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Giefinggasse 4
1210 Wien
Telefon: +43 664 8251374

Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien)
Berufsfeuerwehr Linz
Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz
Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung (BMLV)
Johanniter Österreich Ausbildung und Forschung gemeinnützige GmbH