Training on Robotic-Assisted Surgical Devices (RASD) using Virtual Reality (VR) can have a clear economic benefit and has been proven to increase efficacy of training by accelerating product and procedural learning.
We asked FundamentalVR, known for their experience in Robotic simulation, to share their thoughts on what are the key aspects to look for when RASD companies are selecting a VR Partner to create sales, education or collaboration simulations in VR. With Return On Investment (ROI) being a major consideration when adopting new training tools, here are some top tips to help in your consideration of a VR partner.
“We are seeing a huge acceleration in RASD companies recognising and adopting VR platforms as part of their training and education programs” said Chris Scattergood, Co-Founder at FVR, “These are five tips that in our experience are key to ensuring a successful implementation.”
Tip 1. Seek a VR partner with a range of experience in RASD
RASD companies should consider a VR provider with a range of experience within RASD.
Your ideal partner should have strong robotics-relevant technical capabilities that can be leveraged to accelerate your simulation objectives. For instance, having experience of inverse kinematics. These technical skills take time to acquire – look for a partner that can demonstrate they already have them.
Tip 2. Look for future-proof features in the platform
Your technology and value proposition is likely to change and evolve over time around your robotic system features. Ensuring you have a partner who can demonstrate a technical capability roadmap into the future is key. Look for a partner that is VR headset manufacturer agnostic so you are not tied to a single platform.
Also think about how your potential partner scales their feature set, such as collaboration tools and supporting a range of haptic inputs across both cutaneous haptics and full kinesthetic. This capability and flexibility will ensure that the development of your VR skills support will not be limited.
Tip 3: Ensure your digital twin is just that!
Immersion fidelity is a careful blend of visual, audible and haptic (sense of touch) senses. Today it is possible to create a complete digital twin of your RASD which can be incredibly powerful for customer adoption and training in both technical skills as well as procedural rehearsal. But more than that, done well your digital twin can be a valuable part of understanding and refining human factors aiding with R&D and even clinical trials. So take the time to ensure your partner has the necessary experience to take your virtual RASD to the level that can deliver on all these vectors.
Tip 4: Find a partner that can deliver to your timescales
Get going! Ensure your VR partner has a track record of delivering to their promises and at pace. They might be able to draw up an implementation timeline but do they have a track record of delivering to it? Check that their platform is robust enough to support your specific immediate needs but also where you might be thinking of moving to in the future.
Tip 5: Start Simple!
Ensure you start simple, you don’t need to build a Death Star solution from day 1! Think about where real value is delivered to the business and then choose the most important parts of your RASD that deliver to this – implement these first and then build and expand from there. Make sure that your robot simulation is delivered into a shared multi-user space and that this space can be connected with Zoom/Teams etc. to immediately give you additional scale options and the ability to explore use cases and extended ROI potential. Use your trusted KOLs’ feedback and build a user group feedback cycle to shape the simulation.