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MetaVR VRSG Use in SUGV Simulation

MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™) is being used by the U.S. Army to develop small unmanned ground vehicle (SUGV) and UAV Class 1 simulations. The simulations provide soldiers a virtual representation of these unmanned vehicles using MetaVR’s geospecific and photo-realistic databases. Leveraging OneSAF as the simulation host, the simulations interface with operational equipment. In the near future, an "out-of-the-box" simulation capability using VRSG and OneSAF will be available for training, rehearsals, and familiarization, using operational equipment.

Real-time screen capture taken in MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator™ (VRSG™) of a scene with an SUGV entering a building on a high-resolution MetaVR 3D terrain database. The models are from MetaVR's 3D content libraries.
MetaVR VRSG rendering of a scene with an SUGV scouting out a building on a MetaVR   terrain database.

The SUGV simulation provides a realistic and fully articulated model of the operational system currently being field tested at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The robotic simulation provides the ability to connect the operational equipment with the simulation back-end in a plug-and-play manner. OneSAF provides the simulation host, which communicates with the SUGV operator control unit using the JAUS protocol. Image generation is provided through a CIGI interface with VRSG. The SUGV simulation is fully embedded in the OneSAF operating environment, using CIGI to drive the MetaVR image generator (IG). The SUGV simulation is both standards-based and IG neutral. MetaVR VRSG was selected as the IG of choice for the SUGV simulation because of its competitive visuals and commitment to supporting common interface design tenets.

  Correlated views of MetaVR's Afghanistan database used in the SUGV simulation, shown in OneSAF (OTF format) on the left, and in VRSG in MetaVR's 3D terrain format on the right. (Click each image to see an enlarged view.)

The XM1216 SUGV is a next-generation lightweight, mobile robot that provides situational awareness in high-risk areas or situations. During military operations conducted in urban terrain, tunnels, sewers, and caves the tactical robot can aid in scouting and securing areas that are either inaccessible or too dangerous for soldiers.

U.S Army photo of an SUGV inspecting the undercarriage of a vehicle, and a similar scene in VRSG with MetaVR's SUGV and M1046 humvee models, on MetaVR's Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) terrain database.

The robot has four cameras, including a wide view and thermal camera, an infrared lighting system and a laser rangefinder. It is controlled remotely with an Xbox-type gamepad as an operator control unit. With the aid of rotating flippers, the robot can traverse slopes, climb over rocks, and climb stairs. The robot’s cameras feed live video to the heads-up display worn by the soldier controlling the robot. In turn, the soldier can remotely zoom in with the camera’s telephoto lens, switch to night vision, or direct a laser rangefinder to a target. Weighing less than 30 pounds, the SUGV can be transported on a soldier's back, either strapped on or in a backpack.  

Click to toggle textured and wireframe views.
MetaVR's SUGV (XM1216) model, based on photos of the iRobot SUGV. Click to see the wireframe view.

Destined for overseas combat deployment in the U.S. Army, the SUGV will perform a variety of tasks made possible by its modular payloads. The robot, which is built by iRobot and Boeing, will be used for functions such as searching hostile buildings and caves and disarming bombs. The SUGV’s predecessor, the PackBot, has been in use in Afghanistan since 2002 and Iraq since 2003, where it was used for disarming improvised explosive devices.

Real-time screen capture taken in MetaVR’s VRSG of a scene with an SUGV entering a building at the MOUT site area of MetaVR's Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) terrain database. The models are from MetaVR's 3D content libraries.
MetaVR VRSG rendering of a scene with an SUGV scouting out a building at the MOUT site area on MetaVR's virtual ATC terrain.

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