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UT Arlington Launches Assistive Robotics Lab

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 1:00pm
University of Texas at Arlington

This shows RE2 President and CEO Jorgen Pedersen, UT Arlington Research Institute Executive Director Rick Lynch, UT Arlington Provost Ron Elsenbaumer and QinetiQ North America Technology Solutions Group President J.D. Crouch at the UT Arlington Research Institute. Credit: UT ArlingtonFueled by gifts of high-tech robots from industry leaders, The University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute announces its new Assistive Robotics Lab aimed at advancing robotics for healthcare, first-responder, and other applications.

RE2, a Pittsburgh-based robotics engineering firm associated with Carnegie Mellon University, has given UT Arlington a robotic nursing assistant – a mobile manipulative device with two arms that can aid nurses with physically intensive tasks, such as helping a patient sit up or transfer to a gurney. The device is valued at $850,000.

QinetiQ North America Inc., a Reston, Va.-based company noted for its global leadership in developing and fielding tactical ground robots, has given the Research Institute a Dragon Runner™ 20 model robot and funding to assist with research and development. The DR-20 is a small, portable device that can navigate various terrains and aid in reconnaissance or first-responder scenarios. The contributions are valued at $200,000.

The gifts mark a significant partnership between private sector technology giants with strong ties to Defense Department research and the UT Arlington Research Institute, which re-launched this summer with a mission of becoming a global leader in the development of advanced technology to help humanity. The institute aims to translate existing technologies particularly for use by wounded veterans, aging populations and workers who must lift and move heavy objects.

"RE2 and QinetiQ North America have played critical roles in developing robots that have reduced the risks faced by our military servicemen and women," said Rick Lynch, a retired Army lieutenant general with an extensive background in robotics who is executive director of the UT Arlington Research

Jorgen Pedersen, RE2 president and chief executive officer, said his company is committed to working with national research universities like UT Arlington to enhance robotics education and research. Institute. "These technologies can be refined and adapted for myriad civilian uses and put to work to help us all live better lives."

"RE2 is actively involved in helping shape the future of robotics, and we are pleased to add a strong University partner in UT Arlington," Pedersen said. "We are looking forward to gaining insight from UT Arlington students and researchers who will work with our product and envision new applications and innovations."

Dr. J.D. Crouch, President of QinetiQ North America's Technology Solutions Group, echoed the sentiment.

"This is an exciting time in the expanding field of advanced robotics," Crouch said. "We support General Lynch's vision of how industry can partner with research institutions to advance our technology and develop the next generation of robotics engineers."

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