Cutlass RCV driving manipulation skills trainer

HIT TeamThe challenge presented to the HIT Team was to develop an affordable portable skills trainer for the Cutlass RCV and its 9-axis manipulator, potentially for multi-site deployment, with accurate physics-based representations of remote functions. Many Armed Forces EOD instructors feel that current classroom training does not equip RCV trainees with adequate skills and system awareness to help them appreciate the capabilities and limitations of the vehicles they are about to operate.

Nor does it help trainees to adapt to the notion of controlling vehicles and manipulators remotely, especially in the case of multi-axis manipulator systems (such as that fitted to Cutlass), where each one of six joysticks controls a different function and movement of the manipulator, depending on which control mode has been selected.

Consequently, early hands-on opportunities can sometimes be characterised by trainees pushing the remote systems to their limits and failing to appreciate those limits when approaching obstacles, such as steep ramps or stairways, narrow corridors, or platforms that may look mountable from a remote camera viewpoint, but in reality are not.

As well as a highly realistic virtual urban street scene and house interior, a replica (physical) Cutlass console has also been constructed. Whilst this console does not possess all of the controls evident with the real system, it contains accurate representations and locations of the key components, including the manipulator mode selection areas on a touch screen.