Natick center advances soldier performance with technology

April 19, 2017 by  

A project using augmented reality is being investigated by members of the Cognitive Science Team at the Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) in Natick, which hopes that it may help soldiers improve their skills in planning missions.

A research psychologist at the NSRDEC, Aaron Gardony, has said augmented reality will provide interactive three-dimensional maps and models that can be tailored for each individual and team so that planning can be carried out according to their unique preferences and aptitudes.

Currently, Gardony adds, all soldiers use the same two-dimensional representations, and not all soldiers have the capability to visualize three-dimensional environments from these two-dimensional representations.

In the study, participants interact with a three-dimensional model of city while learning a prescribed route. Scientists at NSRDEC hope to be able to examine and quantify the strategies and physical interactions soldiers use by means of augmented reality. The long-term goal is to discover ways to optimize the performance of soldiers.

Another senior research psychologist at NSRDEC, Dr. Tad Brunyé, commented that augmented reality is a way to leverage cutting-edge commercial tools to benefit the defense science community, and advance and optimize the performance of soldiers on the field.

The NSRDEC is teaming up with the Tufts University School of Engineering on this project and the two organizations might also collaborate on using a print company to create distributable materials about the project.