Page 24 - Australian Defence Magazine Oct 2018
P. 24

Deakin Uni strengthens Defence relationship
BUILDING on the solid 20 years partner- ship with Defence, Deakin University, un- der their Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), took the Land Forces conference this year as an op- portunity to showcase the next generation of their training technologies.
James Heading of Lockheed Martin and a Deakin University researcher demonstrating the FORTIS exoskeleton.
The FLAIM Trainer was designed and developed by volunteer fire fighter Associate Professor James Mullins and utilises a range of training technology including haptic feedback from a fire fighting hose (the writer tested the system and was almost pulled off her feet) and augmented reality with a VR headset. The system also includes an instru- mented fire-fighting uniform that features heat pads to simulate standing next to a fire. The portable system can be hooked up to a computer for after action training and feedback, along with access to biometric in- formation from the user, based on a range of training scenarios. The system can be fielded anywhere on board a ship, or in any environ- ment, in its augmented reality mode, or in a classroom setting using its VR mode, de- pending on the needs of the user. It is now
being commercialised through FLAIM Sys- tems, a Deakin University owned start-up.
“This technology builds on the haptics work Deakin first exhibited at Land Forc- es a few years ago,” Professor Bill Sowry, a former Army Brigadier and now Chair in Defence Innovation at IISRI said to ADM. “This practical approach to developing commercial ready products to meet emerg- ing needs is complemented by our research on next generation robotic control systems and force feedback technologies that will work to the next generation of capability needs and which will work to further en- hance the fidelity of user experience in im- mersive training.”
Whilst not on show at Land Forces, ADM understands that Deakin’s universal motion simulator (UMS) may have a signif- icant role to play in Land 400. The recon- figurable driver simulator is a dynamic mo- tion platform for immersive training that provides high-fidelity vehicle simulation
Newcastle-based SME tackles drone and
IN August, Army accepted delivery of the DJI Phantom UAS. The acquisition aims to catalyse drone proliferation across the Army by helping soldiers develop drone lit- eracy using a relatively cheap, commercial off-the-shelf platform.
The Phantom training drone will be rolled out throughout the entire organisa- tion, including Reservists and Cadets.
The company responsible for training Army on the Phantom is Newcastle-based SME UAVAIR. The company runs accred- ited training courses for schoolkids and oth- ers interested in becoming professionally certified or just simply learning how to fly.
UAVAIR will have hundreds of soldiers certified as soon as November. Those soldiers
will then return to their units as trainers. ADM spoke to David Mann, general manager at UAVAIR, and Business De- velopment Manager Leigh Killian on the sidelines of Land Forces to talk about how the company is looking to continue its part- nership with the ADF beyond the Phantom acquisition, and how it is engaging schools to get kids interested in drones and STEM. “We started in 2014,” Mann said. “As the CASA [Civil Aviation Safety Authority] regulations rolled out, we anticipated a train-
ing gap and designed ourselves to meet it. “Army identified that we were small and nimble enough, but also scalable enough to
train their people.”
The company runs an eight-hour course
for Army’s drone instructors, of which four hours are online and four hours are hands-on. “They’re learning basic handling skills,”
The DJI Phantom gives Army users the chance to familiarise themselves with the art of the possible.
Mann said. “There’s also some advanced techniques, so they walk away with the fun- damental ability to fly a Phantom drone.”
Whilst the current training program uses the new fleet of Phantom 4s, UAVAIR is gear- ing to become Army’s partner of choice as drone literacy develops across the organisation.
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