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VirTra simulators approved for DOD-funded research projects

“With VirTra simulators, we can swiftly and securely recreate dynamic force encounters,” said Von Kliem, Chief Consulting and Communications Officer at Force Science

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CHANDLER, Ariz. — VirTra, Inc., a global provider of judgmental use of force training simulators and firearms training simulators for the law enforcement and military markets, today announced that its simulators have been approved for Department of Defense (“DoD”) funding for research projects. This approval is supported by the results of a recent independent research study conducted by Ohio State University.

The study, published by a third party, assessed VirTra’s V-100 Simulator and confirmed that VirTra simulators can record shooting performance accurately and track individual progress over time reliably, thereby qualifying them as verified and consistent research tools.

Researchers at Ohio State University studied 30 participants with varying degrees of rifle-handling experience to evaluate the V-100 Ballistic Simulator’s capabilities as a training device and research tool. They found that the system accurately captured shooting data, decision-making, and reaction time down to millimeters and milliseconds. These significant findings support the use of VirTra’s simulators as research tools and could lead to their use in a first-ever standardized performance score system for virtual reality ballistics training.

“Our research group used the V-100 Ballistic Simulator as an outcome variable for our study and found that it has excellent day-to-day reproducibility of performance, which is crucial for research,” said Jeff Volek, professor of human sciences at Ohio State. “A sensitive and reproducible outcome is essential in tests where equipment variation must be minimized. Alex Buga from my research team created several programs that enabled us to calculate shooting data and produce objective training measures. VirTra’s equipment closely simulates what the military and police use daily, indicating its potential as a screening tool across the country.”

VirTra simulators, now qualified as research tools, assist in the collection, processing, analysis, and interpretation of data across various disciplines, including natural sciences, social sciences, and military sciences. The key characteristics that make VirTra simulators invaluable for research include their accuracy and precision, efficient data management, advanced analytical capabilities, reproducibility, user-friendly interface, integration with other systems, robust security features, and comprehensive support and documentation.

The study’s findings corroborate the research industry’s steady adoption of VirTra simulators for investigative purposes. Top-level investigators, such as Force Science, already use VirTra simulators to conduct human performance under stress research.

“At Force Science, we are involved in many of the United States’ most high-profile use-of-force investigations, where we are required to research, analyze, and demonstrate the reality of human performance under stress,” said Von Kliem, Chief Consulting and Communications Officer at Force Science. “With VirTra simulators, we can swiftly and securely recreate dynamic force encounters. Their precision technology allows us to measure movement times, shot times, and response intervals with the consistency and accuracy necessary for valid and reliable research. The validity of research conducted with VirTra systems enables us to study diverse populations and establish realistic expectations for human performance during threat assessments, decision-making, and critical de-escalation efforts.”

The research study conducted by Ohio State University was published on June 6, 2024, in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.