Simulations company develops method to train soldiers to use grenades

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A small veteran-owned business at the University of Central Florida Incubator has been working in virtual and augmented reality for military training for the last seven years.

Serious Simulations’ lastest invention could revolutionize how soldiers train on using and protecting themselves from hand grenades on the battlefield.

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At the company, workers take real life weapons that our military uses on the battlefield, such as guns and rocket launchers, and intergrate electronics and technology so that soldiers can train without getting hurt.

“We have a lot of experience with instrumentation of direct fire weapons crew served and individual weapons,” said CEO Christopher Chambers.

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The company worked for three years to develop a simulated grenade that can be safely employed in live training.

“There have been grenades really since the beginning of the 20th century,” Chambers said. “We have had hand grenades but there has been no really effective way to train them with live force on force maneuver training for obvious reasons, there was no practical way to do it without hurting people, etc.”

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There are no explosives in the grenade they’ve developed. When you take the safety off, pull the pin and throw it, it detonates, sending signals letting soldiers know if they have been injured or killed.

“It sends out a variety of signals that are received by a receiver that we place on the individual that could be on their weapon or on their helmet or wherever that might be,” Chamber said.

System engineer and former Army and Army National Guard veteran Michael Burroughs said it’s huge for training.

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“One of the biggest issues with real world combat is that whenever you are in a high stress situation, you have to fall back on what you know and what you know is your training,” Burroughs said. “If you don’t have that level of training, you won’t know how to react to that situation.”

Serious simulations just received their first order for the simulated grenades from a federal agency.

The next project the company is working on is claymore mines, which will work similarly to the grenades.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.