Practice Makes Perfect
When a Foreign Military Sales customer came to Gemini with the problem of how to provide effective hands-on training to Latvian boarder patrolmen using the PackBot mobile robot, we were faced with two major constraints: 1) they were not permitted to bring the actual equipment into the classroom, and 2) there was a significant language barrier between the trainers and the learners.
Gemini instructional designers and 3D animators used Unity to create realistic 3D versions of the PackBot and the computer used to control it. They also configured an actual video game controller to work with the on-screen simulator in an immersive and realistic gaming environment which allowed the students to practice manipulating the PackBot to perform various tasks set up by the instructors such as picking up and examining threats, climbing stairs, looking into car trunks, etc. This approach allowed the patrolmen to practice and master the functions of the PackBot in a safe environment.
The hands-on intuitive gaming nature of the tool eliminated the need for additional technical explanation to overcome the language barrier and ultimately prepare the patrolmen with the skills to carry out missions in a high threat environment.