Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS) recently received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) for its Advanced Haptics Development project. ECS Chief Technology Officer, Shane Taber, will be the principal investigator.

In this two-year project, the first year will focus on creating a microlearning modular content library of haptic scenarios using intervention levels to train students in procedures involving escharotomy, needle chest decompression, combat application tourniquets, airway management, blood sweep, and care under fire. ECS’ efforts will modularize various scenarios into a library of content packs that students and instructors can access at a point of need. The second year will aim to incorporate the new HaptX G1 mobile edition glove unit into development. 

“Our ECS team has been incorporating haptics technology into our projects for several years now in order to provide more realistic and more memorable training so that our warfighters can receive the best emergency care,” said Waymon Armstrong, ECS’ founder and CEO. “We’re proud to support the Army in their efforts to improve the readiness of medical personnel serving in harm’s way and to save more lives.”

ECS’ plan will ultimately use networked, collaborative multiplayer features to allow combat medics and combat life savers to train and work together using haptics in a virtual reality environment. This application will provide options to have instructors and observers watch students during training. Instructors will also be able to interact in scenarios to assist students in learning different procedures, which will improve teleteaching and telementoring opportunities.

Students typically execute the training procedures listed above via different applications, but soon they will be in one location, which will provide easier access. Once ECS integrates the new version of the HaptX G1 system, students will gain improved mobility and ease of use, particularly when training for larger-scale scenarios. The multiplayer features and multirole scenarios that ECS will further develop with its SBIR award will also expand the applicable audience for training and improve commercialization value for dual-use applications, such as civilian training markets, according to ECS. Mayo Clinic Jacksonville will provide subject matter support and user testing.

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