You are here

Squad-Multipurpose Equipment Transport Medical Module Payload for Casualty Extraction


OBJECTIVE: This project will develop and demonstrate an innovative and novel medical module payload for the Squad-Multipurpose Equipment Transport (S-MET) unmanned ground vehicle (UGS), enabling the S-MET to extract a combat casualty and perform medic attended CASEVAC. DESCRIPTION: Combat Medics and Marine Corpsmen routinely put themselves at risk to get to, and extract wounded, and in doing so often become casualties themselves. The military medical community is leveraging the robotics/UGS development work ongoing at the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and elsewhere in DoD to provide improved and new capabilities for front line medical personnel to improve their capabilities and reduce risk. S-MET Medical Module Payload Performance Goals: One of the key secondary uses of the S-MET is to provide non-autonomous casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) capability to the small unit. The ability to re-configure vehicles to is critical during CASEVAC operations. Ultimately, the task of clearing the wounded from the battle space is the responsibility of the maneuver Commander. The CASEVAC capabilities within a formation are maneuver enablers for that Commander. Their efficacy is gauged by the unit's ability to perform this task, which is directly tied to overall mobility of the formation. The S-MET must have tie down points and will be re-configurable to accommodate and litter(s), providing full body access without any internal interference or displacement of crew or passengers. The S-MET must also be capable of carrying at least two Medical Equipment Sets, (Combat Lifesaver This topic will develop an S-MET MMP, which when integrated with the S-MET unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), will allow a combat lifesaver (infantryman with additional medical training) or a medic to use the vehicle to safely and expeditiously extract and move a casualty to a Casualty Collection Point, or a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) Point. Desired characteristics: 1. Integrated module and S-MET vehicle capable of approaching an identified casualty, and extracting and moving the casualty with combat lifesaver or medic attendant assistance. 2. Separate module that can be installed and removed from the S-MET platform quickly (less than 10 minutes) and easily. 3. Module doesn't impact S-MET performance (e.g., speed, maneuverability) 4. Integrated medic/combat lifesaver assist module and S-MET vehicle should be as fast as a human performing the same extraction & CASEVAC task. 5. Module should be safe - for the casualty (i.e., no additional harm) and for other personnel in the area. 6. Module is teleoperated and/or semi-autonomous for some tasks (end goal is for an semi-autonomous system with human-in-the-loop for safety). Patient will be attended during CASEVAC operation. A key goal of this research topic is to leverage and demonstrate the novel capabilities of 3-D printing to speed design and development, reduce prototyping costs, reduce production costs, and reduce maintenance and repair costs, as well reducing required spare parts inventories. Use of 3-D printing capability should be used when it makes sense (e.g., to accelerate an iterative design, development and test approach; and to reduce part fabrication costs). PHASE I: The Principle Investigator (PI) will research S-MET documentation (when available for public release) applicable to this research topic. The team will also research and analyze the bio-mechanics of lifting and carrying, or dragging a casualty (see"Research Involving Animal or Human Subjects,"section, below, - No Human Use during Phase I, therefore the use of modeling and simulation (M & S) is strongly encouraged). However, Human Use Protocol planning and documentation should be initiated, as required. The PI will develop and deliver a prototype medical mission payload module design (see Description section, above). The PI will develop and demonstrate as much of the prototype design functionality as possible using M & S and'brass board'components. Finally, a draft Commercialization Plan will be developed. Phase I Deliverables: 1. Report cataloging and summarizing all S-MET and other documentation researched and used to develop the medical mission module payload. 2. Report describing the bio-mechanics of lifting, dragging and carrying a 300 lb casualty and the impact thereof, on medical MMP functionality and design. 3. Modeling and Simulation Plan, if any, for Phase I, with links to any envisioned Phase II M & S Plan. 4. Initial medical MMP prototype design. 5. Demonstration of any M & S tools developed or in development, as well as any'brass board'components. 6. Report detailing Human Use Protocol planning and documentation. 7. Draft Commercialization Plan. 8. Report describing the planned use of 3-D printing technology. PHASE II: The PI will leverage the Phase I work and refine the medical MMP design. A working prototype shall be built and demonstrated in the laboratory (minimum), and in a more relevant outside environment (desired), using a robotic system or UGV (S-MET vehicle desired, but if not available a surrogate UGV may be used). Technology Readiness Level desired at the end of Phase II is TRL-5. The Phase I Commercialization Plan will be completed. Phase II Deliverables: 1. Prototype medical MMP demonstration in both a laboratory and field environment. 2. Technical reports containing each demonstration's results. 3. Updated medical MMP design. 4. Develop, implement and document any Human Use Protocols plans and schedule, as required. 5. Demonstration and documentation (report and software) of any M & S tools employed in this Phase II effort. 6. Updated Commercialization Plan, including targeted (or ideally, acquired) commercial or academic partners for Phase III. 7. Report describing the use of 3-D printing and lessons learned. PHASE III: 1. Technical and programmatic reports and plans, and technical and operational demonstrations supporting further medical MMP development and commercialization. 2. Updated and optimized medical MMP design. 3. Updated or new Human Use Protocols developed, approved and executed. 4. Operational demonstration of the medical MMP integrated with a S-MET vehicle or UGV surrogate, if no S-MET platform is available. 5. Report describing the use of 3-D printing and lessons learned. The dual use applications for a robotic/UGV system medical mission payload module for expeditious and safe extraction and short range casualty movement are obvious - Military: Tactical combat casualty extraction and evacuation, casualty extraction and evacuation from a contaminated environment (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN)), Humanitarian Assistance missions; and Disaster Relief Missions; Civilian: Mass casualty situations (e.g., collapsed buildings, victim rescue in a CBRN contaminated environment (e.g., industrial chemical spill).
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government