- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Electronic Imaging
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
null ; null ; null (Ed.)Emergency response training is needed to remember and implement emergency operation plans (EOP) and procedures over long periods until an emergency occurs. There is also a need to develop an effective mechanism of teamwork under emergency conditions such as bomb blasts and active shooter events inside a building. One way to address these needs is to create a collaborative training module to study these emergencies and perform virtual evacuation drills. This paper presents a collaborative virtual reality (VR) environment for performing emergency response training for fire and smoke as well as for active shooter training scenarios. The collaborative environment is implemented in Unity 3D and is based on run, hide, and fight mode of emergency response. Our proposed collaborative virtual environment (CVE) is set up on the cloud and the participants can enter the VR environment as a policeman or as a civilian. We have used game creation as a metaphor for developing a CVE platform for conducting training exercises for different what-if scenarios in a safe and cost-effective manner. The novelty of our work lies in modeling behaviors of two kinds of agents in the environment: user-controlled agents and computer-controlled agents. The computer controlled agents are defined with preexisting rules of behaviors whereas the user controlled agents are autonomous agents that provide controls to the user to navigate in the CVE at their own pace. Our contribution lies in our approach to combine these two approaches of behavior to perform emergency response training for building evacuation.more » « less
Active shooter events are not emergencies that can be reasonably anticipated. However, these events do occur more than we think, and there is a critical need for an effective emergency preparedness plan that can increase the likelihood of saving lives and reducing casualties in the event of an active shooting incident. There has been a major concern about the lack of tools available to allow for modeling and simulation of human behavior during emergency response training. Over the past few decades, virtual reality-based training for emergency response and decision making has been recognized as a novel alternative for disaster preparedness. This paper presents an immersive virtual reality (VR) training module for active shooter events for a building emergency response. There are two immersive active shooter modules developed: occupant’s module and Security personnel module. We have developed an immersive virtual reality training module for active shooter events using an Oculus for the course of action, visualization, and situational awareness for active shooter events. The immersive environment is implemented in Unity 3D where the user has an option to enter the environment as security personnel or as an occupant in the building. The immersive VR training module offers a unique platform for emergency response and decision making training. The platform allows for collecting data on different what-if scenarios in response to active shooter events that impact the actions of security personnel and occupants in a building. The data collected can be used to educate security personnel on how to reduce response times. Moreover, security personnel can be trained to respond to a variety of emergencies safely and securely without ever being exposed to real-world dangers.more » « less
Chen, J.Y.C. (Ed.)In recent years there has been a sharp increase in active shooter events, but there has been no introduction of new technology or tactics capable of increasing preparedness and training for active shooter events. This has raised a major concern about the lack of tools that would allow robust predictions of realistic human movements and the lack of understanding about the interaction in designated simulation environments. It is impractical to carry out live experiments where thousands of people are evacuated from buildings designed for every possible emergency condition. There has been progress in understanding human movement, human motion synthesis, crowd dynamics, indoor environments, and their relationships with active shooter events, but challenges remain. This paper presents a virtual reality (VR) experimental setup for conducting virtual evacuation drills in response to extreme events and demonstrates the behavior of agents during an active shooter environment. The behavior of agents is implemented using behavior trees in the Unity gaming engine. The VR experimental setup can simulate human behavior during an active shooter event in a campus setting. A presence questionnaire (PQ) was used in the user study to evaluate the effectiveness and engagement of our active shooter environment. The results show that majority of users agreed that the sense of presence was increased when using the emergency response training environment for a building evacuation environment.more » « less
Video‐based training has been widely adopted by private organizations and public authorities to educate occupants on various types of building emergencies. However, the effectiveness of video‐based training for preparing occupants for building emergencies has not been rigorously studied nor has the impact of emergency type been investigated on training effectiveness.
This study examines whether video‐based training is an effective method to prepare occupants for building emergencies and how the effectiveness differs in the context of different building emergencies.
We simulated fire and active shooter emergencies in a virtual office building and conducted evacuation experiments to examine participants' emergency responses using both objective and subjective metrics. A total of 108 participants were recruited and responded to the fire or active shooter incident with or without video‐based training.
Results and Conclusions
The results revealed that participants with video‐based training more often chose to follow other recommendations when responding to building emergencies instead of simply following others. Results from ANOVA showed that training increased participants' self‐efficacy significantly, especially for those in the active shooter group. Moreover, participants in the active shooter simulation had a higher level of response efficacy than those in the fire emergency simulation. Our results also demonstrated the influence of emergency type on participants' final decisions and considerations of the recommendations.
Our results suggested that video‐based training is effective in improving participants' emergency preparedness and changing their behaviour patterns to a certain extent such as reducing following behaviour and encouraging safe evacuations. Additionally, statistically significant interactions between video‐based training and emergency types suggested that training effectiveness should be considered in accordance with the emergency type.
During emergencies communicating in multi-level built environment becomes challenging because architectural complexity can create problems with visual and mental representation of 3D space. Our Hololens application gives a visual representation of a building on campus in 3D space, allowing people to see where exits are in the building as well as creating alerts for anomalous behavior for emergency response such as active shooter, fire, and smoke. It also gives path to the various exits; shortest path to the exits as well as directions to a safe zone from their current position. The augmented reality (AR) application was developed in Unity 3D for Microsoft HoloLens and also is deployed on tablets and smartphones. It is a fast and robust marker detection technique inspired by the use of Vuforia AR library. Our aim is to enhance the evacuation process by ensuring that all building patrons know all of the building exits and how to get to them, which improves evacuation time and eradicates the injuries and fatalities occurring during indoor crises such as building fires and active shooter events. We have incorporated existing permanent features in the building as markers for the AR application to trigger the floor plan and subsequent location of the person in the building. This work also describes the system architecture as well as the design and implementation of this AR application to leverage HoloLens for building evacuation purposes. We believe that AR technologies like HoloLens could be adopted for all building evacuating strategies during emergencies as it offers a moremore » « less