Australia-based company Lumination is working with the nation’s Defence Innovation Hub to explore how it might transform training environments for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The Adelaide-based firm specialises integrating immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the school curriculum. It was during an interaction with BAE Systems, that the company considered their specialist knowledge could play a role in training ADF personnel. 

Lumination’s chief commercial officer Tom Hastwell said the company’s project drew on the expertise of partners BAE Systems and the University of South Australia to offer complex training scenarios, anywhere the ADF might need them. “Our project with the Defence Innovation Hub is to produce a mobile, AI-enabled training and simulation solution that the ADF could use to train troops in all sorts of environments,” Hastwell said.

Lumination created a training simulation based on a humanitarian mission, with a series of relevant scenarios for soldiers, sailors or aviators and worked with the Ai Research Centre at the University of South Australia.

Hastwell said the platform is innovative in its use of AI, which introduces an element of uncertainty, rather than repeating the same ‘story’ over and over, the simulation responds and learns from the trainee’s input, providing additional training challenges. “Typically training can be quite linear, you end up going through the motions, not learning from mistakes or being exposed to realistic uncertainties.” 

Lumination has built different virtual environments and scenarios, and use AI to take away the linear aspect and make it less predictable. This combination makes it quite unique in terms of immersive learning.

The simulation is also delivered via a mobile virtual learning unit, which means personnel could train in remote locations. “The virtual experience can be completely modular,” Hastwell added. “We’ve created kits that include an immersive virtual reality headset, a high powered PC and a large screen. Whatever the trainee is experiencing in virtual reality is projected for everyone else to see.”

The mobile cases are cost-effective, mobile and robust, providing the ADF with the ability to move them around the country very easily and quickly.