SantosHuman Inc. with research partners from the University of Ottawa and the University of Waterloo received an additional $846,863 (Canadian) in funding to continue their work toward optimizing Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) soldier performance. The one-year phase 1b funding will produce a beta version of the CANadian virtual Soldier Performance Prediction and Optimization Tool (CAN-SPPOT), which will provide data to help minimize soldier injuries that can be caused by personal, operational, equipment and environmental factors.
This phase of research continues the CAN-SPPOT proof of concept work begun in 2019 with a $200,000 contract from the Department of National Defence’s (DND) Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program. The initial phase integrated common CAF equipment and armor configurations into the Santos Pro® platform. In addition, artificial intelligence-based algorithms have enabled Santos predictive models to generate soldier-specific motion profiles under different equipment configurations.
“CAN-SPPOT will be an exciting new virtual soldier platform that unites SantosHuman Inc’s cutting-edge human-in-the-loop simulation with our leading research and development in the application of artificial intelligence. It will provide an unrivaled ability to predict unique soldier-specific movement and performance outcomes,” said lead investigator Ryan Graham from the University of Ottawa. “Blending leading AI and biomechanics research with SantosHuman Inc’s state-of-the-art predictive model ensures that CAN-SPPOT will directly and effectively address pressing human-systems-integration challenges for the Canadian Armed Forces.”
The goal of the beta version of CAN-SPPOT is to enable CAF and DND users to evaluate detailed digital avatars that match the shape, sizes and look of CAF soldiers. They will be able to perform trade-off analyses of numerous factors, such as the role of fatigue and other risk factors and their influences on posture, movement and overall performance.
“SantosHuman could not be more honored and excited to be part of the research team and this proactive effort to help the Canadian Armed Forces protect their soldiers from injury,” said Steve Beck, CEO of SantosHuman Inc.
DND launched the IDEaS program in 2018 as part of Canada’s defense policy: Strong, Secure, Engaged. IDEaS fosters open innovation to provide creative thinkers with the structure and support to encourage solutions, which will assist in solving some of Canada’s toughest defense and security challenges. The goal of IDEaS is to identify innovative solutions to key challenges facing the CAF, including technology to improve the prediction and optimization of personnel performance.