RE2 has secured a grant from the US Army to develop robotic technologies to assist combat medics in wounded combat casualty extraction and evacuation missions on the battlefield.
Awarded by the US Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Office and the US Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), the funding requires the company to develop and demonstrate a new medical module payload for future military ground systems.
The payload developed under the LIFELINE project would enable an advanced autonomous ground vehicle to extract a combat casualty and perform medic attended casualty evacuation.
RE2 R&D vice-president Dr Patrick Rowe said: "Our engineering staff is utilising its combined expertise in autonomy, unmanned systems engineering, and manipulation to create a robotic system that provides medics with the assistive technology to perform their duties more effectively."
In particular, the LIFELINE module is expected to assist combat medics in manoeuvring, treating, and evacuating wounded soldiers under extremely hostile conditions.
The combat medic is claimed to be one of the most dangerous and demanding responsibilities in warfare, directly placing the medic and other personnel in harm's way while they are reaching, assessing, and treating a wounded soldier's injuries in the theatre.
The US Army is expressing interest in understanding how unmanned systems can be used to lower the risk of injury to the combat medic and other personnel when attempting to rescue and extract wounded soldiers in dangerous environments.
Image: Many front-line medics often get injured or killed while trying to save wounded soldiers. Photo: courtesy of US Army.