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Alion enhancing robotic prosthetic devices

Dec. 28, 2010 at 10:51 AM

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Virginia company Alion Science and Technology will work to enhance robotic prosthetic limb technology for military amputees.

Alion said the award from the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity is for 18 months and worth $1.4 million.

"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 Richard Brooks, Alion's Distributed Simulation Group manager and a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral. "Our modeling and simulation expertise will greatly help facilitate advancements in the field of artificial limbs."

Under the contract, which will be performed with Sigenics Inc. of Illinois, Alion will develop a protocol and modeling tool for robotic, upper-limb prosthetics 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.

The company said 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 the amputee better control the prosthetic.

Sigenics designs integrated circuits and supplies tested die or packaged parts for sensor, analog and mixed-signal applications.

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