Top 5 videos of I/ITSEC 2015

Last week the Shephard team packed our bags and set out to sunny Florida for this year’s I/ITSEC show in Orlando. I/ITSEC is one of the biggest training and simulation shows on the exhibition calendar, attended by the great and good of the T&S community.

And with Shephard expanding our portfolio to now include the venerable Military Training and Simulation News title, it was only natural that we went to Orlando with what equated to a mini-Shephard army. For the week, I was responsible for video and here’s a selection of some of the best.

  1. Lifelike robots for the US Marines

I interviewed the US Marine Corps’ main man for training and simulation, PM Training Systems Col Walt Yates, about how the service was adopting new technologies for training. The marines were clearly taking inspiration from Disney World (just a few miles from the convention centre) by using animatronics at its training centres.

One example, which sprang to life and starting conversing and gesticulating at whoever was stood in front, was on display at I/ITSEC. See the full video here:


2. A peek inside the future of vertical lift

Shephard was fortunate to get a look behind the metaphorical (and literal) curtain to gaze into the future of helicopters at I/ITSEC. We were invited to film Tru Simulation + Training’s new V-280 simulator, which it is developing with Textron sister company Bell Helicopter as part of the development of next-generation tilt-rotor aircraft.

Bell’s Steven Kihara, a former army pilot who is now responsible for testing the V-280’s flight envelopes, showed what the aircraft was capable of, including impressive rates of climb and landing manoeuvres unheard of in conventional helicopters.

So realistic was the simulation that this reporter felt a bit queasy at the end. Looking a little worse for wear, one company representative even offered me a seat and a glass of water.

Bell V-280

3. Patriot missile training for the X-Box generation

X-box controllers, Oculus Rift, super detailed characters, surely this is the next version of Battlefield or Call of Duty? In fact it’s a ‘serious game’ developed by Raytheon to teach young soldiers how to use the Patriot Missile System (PAC-3).

Raytheon showed us what soldiers can achieve through ‘playing’ the game, including working as a team (multiplayer) on reloading a missile system. The company is even working on increasing the realism of the game by introducing female avatars, with Raytheon engineer Mercedes providing the motions for facial recognition software.

This story also spawned what is quite possibly the best headline of the year (no bias there at all).

Raytheon Patriot Trainer

4. Robot cars improve sharpshooter training

We cover unmanned vehicles a lot, especially their growing use in the ground domain as surveillance or load-carrying assets. But this is the first time this reporter saw an unmanned ground vehicle being used as a training aid for army sharpshooters.

Pratt & Miller, probably best known for their race cars, developed AVeTar with funding from the US Army and is now looking to commercialise the robot targets. The idea behind the technology is that it creates a more realistic target for snipers, compared with predictable, rail-based targets used today.

UGV target

5. Births and bleeding on a C-130 trainer

There are some things you see in life and you’re genuinely lost for words, seeing a lifelike pregnant mannequin give birth to a little mannequin baby (complete with umbilical cord and placenta) is one of them. This surreal scene unfolded on the stand of CAE, a Canadian training and simulation company that was highlighting its hyper-realistic C-130 aeromedical trainer.

The other ‘patients’ on the trainer included a man that had suffered a nasty looking leg wound (with added blood spurting), he could scream and also simulate breathing. Other aircraft-specific scenarios can be simulated including loss of pressure or smoke in the cabin.

Births and bleeding

6. An added extra…

Ok, I said it would be five videos but as an added bonus, we recorded a helpful round-up video of the show with Trevor Nash, editor of Military Training and Simulation News. Trevor, a training and simulation industry veteran, runs through all the show key events and does a much better job of summarising the show than I could, so over to you Trevor:

Trevor round up

All the Shephard stories and videos from I/ITSEC 2015 can be viewed here:



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