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Computer Games Trains Bomb Defusers

Computer Games Trains Bomb Defusers

America’s Army computer game to train troops in bomb disposal…

Military software engineers have developed a heavily modified version of the game American’s Army to help train more troops in the risky, but life-saving art of bomb disposal.

The game recreates a virtual bomb defusing scenario, and using a real robot control, soldiers can operate a virtual robot to defuse the treat.

One of the major benefits of turning over a portion of the training program to computer games is an increased number of trained bomb defusers, at significantly reduce cost.

computer game to train u.s. military bomb defusers

New Computer Game To Train Bomb Disposal Units

Image Credit: U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dawn Price, 2011.

Typically bomb disposal teams are trained using expensive robots, such as the iRobot Packbot, but because these high prices limit the number of robots the military can purchase, not all troops get a chance to train with them. Bringing training to gaming consoles however, makes it easily accessible to all.

And perhaps more importantly, employing the new software will also eliminate the risk of losing expensive equipment, or even the lives of soldiers, during real-life training exercises.

Although this particular project was developed by U.S. Military software engineers, the result is a technology that takes a page out of recent DARPA funded crowd sourcing projects.

The U.S.Military has already shown how crowd sourcing programs can cut cost and provide a quicker turnaround, without hindering effectiveness or productivity, when compared with traditional government programs set up to develop new technologies.

One crowd-sourcing competition, known as the ACTUV Tactics Crowd-sourced Simulator, is already implementing a computer game, a modified version of Dangerous Waters, in order to analyze tactics and habits of thousands of average gamers.

Another crowd source project, a competition won by Local Motors to develop its FLYPMode military vehicle, has also demonstrated how crowd sourced projects can speed up the development of new technologies – it took just 14 weeks to go from a concept to a fully working prototype of the design.

With the success of crowd sourcing projects already noted, it’s more than likely the military, and other government and large corporate organizations will also start to use such techniques to spur on the development of new technologies.



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Source:

  1. Kwame Opam: Wanna Learn How to Defuse Real Bombs? Play Video Games. Gizmodo, 08/02/2011.
  2. Army Tweaks Recruitment Video Game To Train Soldiers For Real "Hurt Locker" Situations. Fast Company, 08/02/2011.
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