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Development Of Humanoid Robot To Test Warfighter Protection Equipment

Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System (IPEMS).
by Staff Writers
Kansas City MO (SPX) Nov 19, 2010
Midwest Research Institute (MRI) has been authorized to proceed with the Phase IIa of the Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System (IPEMS).

This JPEO-CBD, Joint Project Manager for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Contamination Avoidance JPM-NBC-CA funded effort involves fabrication and startup of a first-of-its kind test facility capable of performing environmentally controlled testing on an individual protection ensemble (IPE) under live chemical-agent exposure conditions.

The IPEMS features a chemical-agent test facility (exposure chamber and supporting structures) and a free-standing, self-balancing robot that simulates human physiology. Once complete, the mannequin, dressed in IPE, can be tested using a variety of environmental conditions and simulated warfighter activities in the presence of chemical agent.

Phase I, completed in March 2010, included the design of the system. Phase II will include the procurement, fabrication, assembly, building renovation, installation, testing, and operator training of the system, as well as software development and preparation of operating procedures.

"The IPEMS Critical Design Review was very successful and we are honored to add this project to MRI's more than 40 years of experience in providing the U.S. Department of Defense with cutting-edge research, development, testing, and evaluation in the areas of personal and collective protection, chemical and biological detection, and decontamination," said MRI Senior Vice President and Director of Research Operations Thomas M. Sack, Ph.D.

"Our team, composed of six world-class partners, has proven its design and will now bring our design to production and complete installation."

MRI, the prime contractor for the award, will continue to serve as the systems integrator and is responsible for systems engineering, program management, integration, and chemical testing.

MRI's subcontractors for the award include: Boston Dynamics - responsible for the robotic mannequin design and fabrication; Measurement Technology Northwest - responsible for the mannequin physiology; Sensor Research and Development Corp - responsible for mannequin chemical sensor development; Smith Carter CUH2A (SCC) - responsible for the containment chamber design; and HHI Corporation - responsible for construction and installation of the exposure chamber.

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