Alion Science and Technology, a technology solutions company based in McLean, Virginia, was awarded an 18-month, $1.4 million contract from the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity to explore approaches that would bring improved, affordable robotic control technology to prosthetic limbs.
Alion will develop a protocol and modeling tool for robotic, upper-limb prostheses that will lead to the development of an affordable prosthetic device that is lightweight, more functional to the amputee, more power-efficient, and has an extended battery life, according to a company press release. The program is designed to augment and accelerate the development of implantable electronic sensors and the development and application of virtual prototyping simulation models, which will ultimately help an amputee to better control his or her prosthesis.
“This critically important program is expected to result in a model for developing a unique, rather than a one-size fits all, robotic prosthetic device for an amputee, lower costs for embedding sensors within a limb, and an advanced integrated control system that allows for lighter, more comfortable and more cost-effective prostheses,” said Rear Admiral Richard Brooks, USN (Ret.), Alion’s Distributed Simulation group manager. “Our modeling and simulation expertise will greatly help facilitate advancements in the field of artificial limbs.”
Alion is partnering with Sigenics, Chicago, Illinois, on the contract. Sigenics designs integrated circuits and supplies tested die or packaged parts for sensor, analog, and mixed-signal applications.