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Alion secures $1.4m US Army contract to help military amputees

Alion was awarded an 18-month, $1.4m contract from the US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity to explore affordable and improved approaches in bringing robotic control technology to the field of prosthetic limbs.

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 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 help the amputee better control the prosthetic.

Alion Distributed Simulation Group manager Richard Brooks said this program is expected to result in a model for developing 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.

"Our modeling and simulation expertise will greatly help facilitate advancements in the field of artificial limbs," Brooks said.