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RE2 Awarded SBIR Grant to Design a Robotic Nursing Assistant
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Dec 13, 2007
More Security and Defense stories
RE2, Inc., a leading developer of intelligent modular manipulation systems, announced that it was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract grant (contract number W81XWH-08-C-0023) on October 17, 2007 by the U.S. Army s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) to design a Robotic Nursing Assistant (RNA).

Hospitals are currently facing significant staffing crises, especially a shortage of immediate care personnel, such as registered nurses (RNs). As a result of this shortage, the number of work-related injuries continues to increase primarily due to more shifts, mandatory overtime, and the aging nursing population.  Among the increasing number of work-related injuries, back injuries pose the greatest impact. Today’s advances in robotic technology can provide health care workers with help in the labor intense hospital or clinical work place, augmenting human physical capabilities and performing some regular, repetitive tasks.

RE2’s concept combines a hospital-proven robotic platform, dexterous manipulators similar to human arms, and intuitive control interfaces to provide a practical implementation of the RNA.  The resultant RNA will serve as an extension of the nurse when performing physically challenging maneuvers, such as helping a patient sit up in bed or moving a patient from a gurney to a hospital bed.

There is an undeniable need for technology to assist nurses and hospital staff with challenging physical tasks. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to leverage our dexterous manipulation and robotics expertise to benefit the healthcare market,stated Jorgen Pedersen, president and chief executive officer of RE2, Inc.

RE2 is leveraging its dexterous manipulation expertise to design the RNA’s manipulator arms. RE2 is partnering with proven robotics technology providers for the robotic platform and intuitive control components of this program.

About Aethon
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Aethon, Inc. will provide the platform for the RNA.  Aethon is a leader in providing low-cost solutions for automatically hauling materials indoors.  Aethon’s Tug uses patented technology to navigate, avoid obstacles, continuously track and correct its positioning, and charge itself at docking stations.  Aethon is pleased to support RE2 in the design and development of the Robotic Nursing Assistant, stated Spencer Allen, chief technology officer of Aethon, Inc.  We are continually looking to apply our proven mobile robotics platform in new ways to meet the needs of the healthcare market. The RNA program will provide both civilian and VA hospitals with enhanced and affordable capabilities.  For more information about Aethon, visit

About Anthrotronix
Anthrotronix, Inc., a biomedical and human factors engineering product development company based in Silver Springs, Maryland, will provide Human Control Interface (HCI) expertise to enable users of the RNA to intuitively control the dexterous manipulator arms. Anthrotronix has extensive experience in creating HCIs for the medical, aerospace, military, and education markets. To learn more about Anthrotronix, visit

Jessica Jordan Pedersen
COO, RE2, Inc.
P:  412.681.6382

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