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A Robotic System for Wounded Patient Extraction and Evacuation from Hostile Environments

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: DAMD17-03-C-0006
Agency Tracking Number: A022-1995
Amount: $729,632.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2003
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
109 Gateway Avenue, Suite 201
Wexford, PA 15090
United States
DUNS: 043712442
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Patrick Rowe
 Senior Research Scientist
 (724) 934-8965
Business Contact
 Todd Jochem
Title: President and Principle R
Phone: (724) 934-8965
Research Institution

The proposed robotic patient recovery system consists of two vehicles configured for marsupial operation - a Robotic Extraction vehicle (REX) and a Robotic Evacuation vehicle (REV) - coupled with intuitive operator interfaces for both the in the fieldmedic and/or personnel at the remote base station. These components are linked with a flexible, JAUS-based control architecture that allows the medic to operate each vehicle at different levels of autonomy, from teleoperated to fully autonomous, dependingon the his assessment of the difficulty of the situation.The small, agile Robotic Extraction vehicle would be used for short-range patient retrieval, and the larger, faster Robotic Evacuation vehicle would be for long-range patient transport from the battlefield to the medical unit, as well as for transportingthe Robotic Extraction vehicle to and from the field. Both vehicles contain on-board computing and sensors to allow them to autonomously navigate in rough, outdoor terrain. The Robotic Extraction vehicle also possesses a suite of additional sensors toautomatically locate wounded patients. The operator interfaces for controlling these vehicles would consist of a large, table-top version for a remote medic at the base, and a small, handheld version for the medic in the field.While the military benefits of this technology are clear, substantial commerical opportunities exist for not ony the complete system (perhaps modified for other domains), but also for the constituant technologies. For example, automatic search (coverage)area path creation is directly applicable to agricultural and lawncare markets where complete cutting of crops or grass is important. Similarly, the core retrotraverse capability embdded in the REX has great utility as a simple way to augment commericiallyavailable robots that rely completely on teleoperation. Using the retrotravere function, the operator could simply drive the path once (to the hostage site for instance) and then monitor the robot as it makes subsequent traversal using the stored path.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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