Challenge to solve
While VR allowed to keep the equipment and trainees safe, it did not help in developing muscle memory, which is crucial for complex assembly tasks. “Using regular controllers in VR is an artificial way of interaction, nobody ever pushes the button with their fist. Usually you push a button with your finger. Grabbing things, moving things needs to be as natural as possible.” – says Captain Ewoud, Staff Officer Research and Development for the Royal Netherlands Army Simulation Centre.
Implementation of haptic gloves. Haptic gloves VS traditional controllers
SenseGlove Nova has been implemented in the military VR training for assembling a satellite receiver in order to avoid damaging expensive training equipment. Using haptics gloves in a virtual environment, the trainees are able to physically feel the virtual parts of the satellite receiver, explore its size, shape and density, interacting with it in a natural way. “Adding haptics to the training is a big benefit in our opinion. We believe that you should be able to interact in virtual reality in a natural way. The use of Nova brings us force-feedback, vibrotactile feedback and a pretty accurate tracing of fingers and hands in VR training making it as close as possible to the real situation. This features give us the opportunity to feel the size, the stiffness and the shape of an object”, – says Captain Ewoud, Staff Officer Research and Development for the Royal Netherlands Army Simulation Centre.
Dutch Ministry of Defence is now working on a pilot study and collecting more data about the value of using haptics in VR training. “Even though we have not finished the study yet, the instructors are very enthusiastic. Seeing VR becoming more common in a simulated training, the next step is adding haptics. I strongly believe that SenseGlove Nova is a good first step in that direction”, – says Captain Ewoud, Staff Officer Research and Development for the Royal Netherlands Army Simulation Centre.