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Robotic Patient Recovery

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
220 Executive Drive, Suite 400 Cranberry Township, PA 16066
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Robotic Patient Recovery
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: DAMD17-03-C-000
Award Amount: $119,893.00


We propose to develop the conceptual and technical design for an autonomous vehicle that can seek, detect, localize, and retrieve wounded patients from hostile situations. We plan to concentrate on three core technical areas: 1) coverage planning andautonomous navigation; 2) patient detection and identification; and 3) vehicle design for patient retrieval.Critical navigation system technical areas that will be examined include ensuring the entire search area has been checked for patients, determining which areas of potentially rough wilderness terrain are passable and impassable, and searching andnavigating without an a priori map.For the patient detection and localization task, issues we propose to investigate include attempting to identify a patient that is probably not moving, is close to the ground, and is partially occluded by natural vegetation or perhaps masked by thesoldier's own camouflage.Once a wounded patient has been positively identified, the final task is to safely retrieve them. Our plan is to begin with an existing combat-ready outdoor vehicle platform and modify it to support this task. This effort will focus on the necessaryadditions to support grasping the patient and providing them with a sheltered, medically effective transport facility. The use of an autonomous vehicle to retrieve wounded personnel from hostile conditions not only reduces the risk of harm to those whosetask it is to bring the wounded patient back, but also provides some measure of protection to the patient himself, increasing his or her own chances for survival.From a commerical perspective, we believe that there are significant spin-off technologies that could be applied sooner to existing robotics and related products. Specifically, we have identified three market areas - sensor assisted tele-operation,surveillance and monitoring, and hospital operations - where the component technology that is developed for the patient recovery task could be commercializable.

Principal Investigator:

Patrick Rowe
Senior Research Scientist

Business Contact:

Todd Jochem
Small Business Information at Submission:

109 Gateway Avenue, Suite 201 Wexford, PA 15090

EIN/Tax ID: 251878447
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No