December 04, 2007 10:29 ET

RE2, Inc. Awarded U.S. Army Phase I SBIR Program to Design a Robotic Nursing Assistant With Dexterous Manipulator Arms

RE2 Leverages Intelligent Manipulation Expertise to Venture Into Healthcare Robotics

PITTSBURGH, PA--(Marketwire - December 4, 2007) - RE2, Inc., a leading developer of intelligent modular manipulation systems, announced today 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 healthcare 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 Robotic Nursing Assistant. 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.

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

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

About RE2, Inc.

RE2, Inc. is a leading developer of intelligent modular manipulation systems and JAUS software solutions. The Company's manipulation systems utilize the RE2 JAUS Software Development Kit to ensure interoperability with fielded robotic platforms. RE2's customers include the Army, Navy, government labs, universities, and defense prime contractors. RE2's expertise lends itself to several markets, including defense, law-enforcement, homeland security, and explosive ordnance disposal. To learn more about the RE2 JAUS SDK, visit For more information, please visit or call (412) 681-6382.

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