Dublin VR company to develop training metaverse with defence contractor
Dublin-based VR simulation company VRAI has partnered with BAE Systems to harness the power of virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate next generation training for the ‘military forces of tomorrow’.
The two companies have ambitious plans to further develop a single synthetic environment (metaverse) to enable air, land, sea, space and cyber forces to plug in and train alongside one another in a single virtual world.
VRAI has developed cutting edge technology that enables them to provide performance insights using machine learning and huge datasets generated by synthetic training, to assist people working in hazardous environments, including military forces.
The initial proof of concept, to be delivered by BAE Systems by the end of 2022, will see the company integrate multi-domain (air, land, sea, space & cyber) synthetic environments to enable complex collective training scenarios in a secure environment.
Militaries around the western world are increasingly focused on using new technologies to remove their personnel from risk and reduce the carbon footprint of military training.
Minister for Defence Simon Coveney recently announced that the State’s defence budget would rise from €1.1 billion to €1.5 billion by 2028 last week, with €8 billion to be spent on defence in Ireland between now and then, with an increased focus on new technologies likely to be part of that.
Simulation and virtual training provides the opportunity for people to train in a wide variety of scenarios and hazardous environments, without exposing them to the risk of those scenarios, reducing the level of wear and tear on equipment, and reducing the carbon footprint of training.
The partnership between VRAI and BAE will enable the creation of a “training metaverse”. VRAIs technology will enable huge simulation datasets to be captured, storered, analysed and presented back to the users in an actionable way.
Founded in Ireland in 2017, VRAI’s cutting-edge technology combines virtual reality technology with data capture, analysis and machine learning (ML) in order to measure, evaluate and predict human performance, and improve training outcomes. VRAI’s vision is to democratise simulation training by bringing high end simulation capability, once the sole domain of elite roles such as pilots or surgeons, to whoever needs it. They are also currently building a VR simulation solution for the offshore wind industry.
Niall Campion, VRAI co-founder and managing director for product & customers, said: “We believe that data, particularly data captured via virtual training, has the power to revolutionise how militaries prepare for operations. By capturing, storing and evaluating individual user performance data within simulation we can deliver actionable insights to instructors actionable insights, personalised to each trainee. Our work with BAE Systems will enable us to bring these insights right to the front line of training.”
“A single synthetic environment opens up huge opportunities for collective training, bringing crucial battlefield experiences without the challenges and constraints of live training and its limited warfare scenarios,” said Sir Stuart Atha, defence capability director for BAE Systems’ Air sector.
“Being able to use the data generated from simulation to tailor training for an individual is crucial for our armed forces. VRAI is a world leader in this area, so we are really excited to be working with the team. The modern battlespace is constantly changing and by collaborating with cutting-edge companies like VRAI we can meet this challenge and help our armed forces stay ahead of the curve.”