Rotterdam, 21 June 2018 – In this edition of Behind the Simulator we explore the innovation that takes place at VSTEP. Our most recent development within our NAUTIS product line is the new portable simulator product. This solution was developed in cooperation with 360-Control.
Following the incredible technological advancements of the last decennia, the world has changed in unprecedented ways. Our devices are becoming increasingly convenient and efficient in their use. This is due to the steady growth in processing power and decrease in hardware sizes. These technological advances give VSTEP the tools needed to continuously improve its products. One of VSTEP’s goals is to minimize the hardware needed to run our NAUTIS and RescueSim products, making our products more affordable and convenient. Through constant strategic innovation and software optimization, VSTEP was able to make a breakthrough in hardware minimization. This led to the introduction of a whole new training solution: portable simulators.
Up until now, virtual maritime training could be attained by purchasing a simulator or by personally visiting a training center. While these solutions are incredibly effective, we believe that maritime simulation training can also be made convenient; all without any added costs. In cooperation with 360-Control, a Dutch tug simulator training center, VSTEP developed a portable tug simulator. This development is not only a monumental achievement for VSTEP, it is also the world’s first portable tug simulation training solution.
Design and construction
Simone Cherchi, one of VSTEP’s own Master Mariners, was in charge of the design and construction of the first portable simulator. “360-Control saw the benefits of a transportable tug simulator and requested the development of the solution from VSTEP. After a few rounds of prototyping and with the help of 360-Control’s feedback, we arrived at our final design.
“The design of the setup was quite a challenge. It is crucial for us that the customer feels as though they are standing in a real ship, just like with our other NAUTIS setups. This meant that we had to get the window and instrument ratios exactly right, using equipment that is easily movable. We wanted to achieve the highest possible degree of mobility without diminishing the quality of the simulator; and I am confident that we did. An entire 180° NAUTIS setup [see image] can be transported in only 3 flight cases!”
Benefits of portable simulators
The advantages of the mobile tug solution are numerous. Cor de Ridder, Tug Master and Senior Instructor at 360-Control, gave us his view on the benefits: “360-Control has chosen to invest in this technology and bring the simulator to the client, instead of the client bringing trainees to our facility. This offers great benefits for our clientele in regards to travel arrangements, costs for crews, and accommodation costs. But the biggest benefit of going to the customer is that after the trainees receive their virtual training on the simulator, they can step on over to their own tug. This allows them to rapidly apply the simulator lessons in a real-life environment. We believe that this methodology guarantees the best possible learning results. Another benefit is that the crew remains available for the normal port operation.”
“I’m happy with the introduction of our new portable training solutions. The portable simulator is a great addition to VSTEP’s portfolio. It promotes our philosophies of usability, quality, and safety. We are looking forward to serving our customers with this new product,” says Ties Klapwijk, Sales Manager at VSTEP.
The NAUTIS portable simulator is now available for purchase for all existing NAUTIS software modules and hardware configurations.
We are showcasing our new portable tug simulator at next week’s ITS Conference in Marseille. If you are attending, you are more than welcome to come by and experience the portable simulator for yourself. We will be present at Booth #146 from the 26th to 29th of June.