RE2 has been awarded Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding to develop automated robotics technology that will assist combat medics.
The USD1 million funding for the LIFELINE programme was granted by the US Army SBIR office and the US Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC).
Under its LIFELINE programme, TATRC is looking to introduce automated systems that can assist medics operating under hostile conditions by helping them manoeuvre, treat, and evacuate wounded personnel.
The aim of LIFELINE is to develop a medical module payload that that can be integrated on an advanced unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that will be able to deploy alongside medics and enable a single person to evacuate a combat casualty - essentially acting a CASEVAC vehicle.
At present, standard CASEVAC procedures involve at least two soldiers. It is intended that the new module from RE2 will act as a force multiplier for the squad, enabling just one person to accomplish the extraction.
Upcoming unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) programmes within the Department of Defense (DOD), such as the Squad Multi-purpose Equipment Transport (S-MET), would be an example of the type of vehicle to be compatible with and use this capability in the field, according to RE2.
The company researched, designed, and developed a LIFELINE prototype during Phase I of the SBIR and the goal for Phase II is to continue refining the design with a major emphasis placed on weight reduction in order to reduce the burden on the soldier during installation. A final prototype is set to be developed to conclude Phase II.
RE2 president and CEO Jorgen Pedersen told IHS Jane's, "During the Phase I effort, RE2 researched various approaches to solve the problem and prototyped the top candidate solution. The early prototype featured a modular innovative crane solution that could be assembled in less than 10 minutes, interfaced with a standard NATO litter, and allowed a single soldier to lift and manoeuvre a casualty onto a raised platform.
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