Researcher Huber takes home hardware at NIST Hero X Awards

June 14th, 2017

DI’s Zach Huber won 2nd place in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Virtual Public Safety Test Environment Challenge. The challenge called for entrants to design a physical measurement environment that uses immersive virtual reality tools for testing new first responder technologies.

Zach proposed creation of a reconfigurable vehicle training system. The training system would include a physical mannequin with virtually represented injury and environmental exposures (e.g. smell, weather, noise etc). What transcends the solution from the typical mixed reality solution is the measurement of trainee states like stress or fatigue.

The solution promises to increase training safety while exposing trainees to stressful environments to scenarios too dangerous for live training. Further it reduces costs by increasing reuse of hardware. Imagine being able to purchase one set of hardware and create any vehicle and any scenario. You can read his submission here

The solution is based on DI’s past work in mixed reality, in particular an ongoing effort where DI is creating a single physical frame that can be used to stand in for any armored vehicle variants. The trainee can sit in one seat and virtually the world around them can become the interior of any of the Army’s armored vehicles and on top of this integrate with large scale collaborative training systems.

NIST is part of the US Department of Commerce and is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories. It promotes US innovation and industrial competitive by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology to enhance economic security and improve quality of life.

For more information on how to leverage emerging technologies in training solutions, visit our VAMR solutions page, contact us here or directly email Scott Christian at

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