The Nautis team at Vstep has entered into a collaboration with Delft based start-up Smart-Ship to introduce haptic feedback into its maritime simulators. Haptic feedback is an advanced technology that allows the user to receive tactile information by sending out various touch-based feedback.
The technology is utilised by a vast range of industries ranging from gaming to medical to education and simulation. The usage of haptic feedback is even more prevalent in the modern automotive industry, guiding drivers in the form of vibration feedbacks when for example the driver pushes the accelerator or the break too hard or turns the steering wheel suddenly with excess strength.
Maritime students and trainees undergoing training with Nautis Simulators will now also be able to train with the help of haptics, which would reduce the need for an instructor. This will guide them through their navigation journey by providing direction and input in the form of telegraph, helm guidance assistance, vibrations, sounds or light.
Automated learning and remote control
Haptic feedback controls provide guidance to its users on how to manoeuvre different types of vessels. The advanced force-feedback system warns operators if their decisions may result in high-risk situations. This for of automated learning reduces dependency on instructors, making it cost effective and repeatable.
In addition, the levers log all instructor and trainee input, which allows for seamless replays of scenarios to increase effectiveness in learning. The software also enables “rewind” to review and redo the exercises and assess the possible consequences.
Haptic Feedback control can be integrated and used with all kinds of navigational simulators. The solution can also be operated remotely which enables safe-distance training and limits unnecessary traveling.
Haptic feedback on board ships
According to Smart-Ship, the merit of haptic feedback goes beyond training and can also be incorporated in actual vessels to guide sailors through their voyage. The company states that the technology has the potential to minimise risks and reduce chances of accidents as it can render guidance to captains during their sailing by providing tactile feedback when they make a wrong move or are too close to shore.
The video below gives visual impressions of haptic feedback within the simulators.