Florida High Tech Corridor


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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA military exercises for some time now. However, the use of haptics, or the sense of touch, has never reached its full potential in simulation because of limited technology and high costs. Through funding from the Florida High Tech Corridor Council's Matching Grants Research Program, CHI and UCF researchers have set out to create training hardware and software that is mobile, interactive, cost- effective and most importantly, realistic. Some of the top causes of preventable death in combat such as blood loss, obstructed airway, and collapsed lung are extremely diffi cult to replicate in training scenarios … and harder still is teaching the emergency procedures so that medics in training understand and feel confi dent to perform them if necessary in the fi eld. Focusing on these three techniques, CHI and UCF created mannequins that allow trainees to realistically perform tourniquet application, emergency airway punctures through the neck (called a cricothyrotomy) and tension pneumothorax procedures to release trapped air surrounding the lung. The mannequins are not only complex enough to give the trainee an accurate depiction of how to perform the procedures, but also feel real and soon will respond to treatment as well. "We're planning to include features in future mannequins that allow them to provide feedback to trainees," said Dr. Samuel Kolodney of CHI systems. "Everything from hot and cold feeling stressors to fl inching and jumping during the procedures will all work to distract the trainee from the task at hand, as the scenario could be on the real combat fi eld." The mannequins are wireless and even Bluetooth enabled, something that was an important objective of this project to preserve the reality of the training scenarios. The devices also provide feedback to the trainee once a procedure is complete. For example, once a trainee has applied a tourniquet, it communicates via Bluetooth whether the trainee placed the tourniquet correctly, if they applied it tight enough, how long it took to complete the procedure, and the results from an algorithm for how much blood would have been lost if the mannequin were a real person. Once the trainee has this information they can self-evaluate, fi x what they are doing incorrectly, and challenge themselves to be more accurate and faster during the next training exercise. "What's most exciting is the possibility of integrating these mannequins into a completely immersive and realistic training environment that emulates the conditions and situations soldiers will meet on the battlefi eld," said Kolodney. Interactive Expeditions: Make the World Your Classroom Advanced educational methods that integrate new technologies, videos and interactive learning are no longer a novelty in today's classroom—they are a necessity. Since 2007, Professor Phil Peters of the University of Central Florida (UCF) School of Visual Arts & Design has been addressing this trend by assembling a multi-disciplinary team to develop an interactive online distributed learning software system. With his background in fi lm and computer game production, he brought together technology experts from Cobham SATCOM Land Systems, an Orlando-based leader in the mobile satellite communications industry, and jointly created Interactive Expeditions (IntX), a mobile research lab at UCF that through the years has developed a collaborative online network called the TracStar Ed-PAD. The Ed-PAD software and IntX lab employ mobile satellite antenna technology, two-way video conferencing, and social networking tools in order to connect at-home learners with instructors who are live in the fi eld. In the past four years, Peters and his team florida.HIGH.TECH 2012 21

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