January 1, 2005 - December 1, 2008
DARPA's Defense Sciences Office has funded a team led by SRI to develop a prototype toward the development of a future generation of battlefield-based unmanned medical treatment systems. These "Trauma Pods" will stabilize injured soldiers within minutes after a battlefield trauma and administer life-saving medical and surgical care prior to evacuation and during transport.
The first phase of the program is an effort to develop robotic technology to perform a totally unmanned surgical procedure within a fixed facility. When fully developed, the Trauma Pod will not require human medical personnel on-site to conduct the surgery, and will be small enough to be carried by a medical ground or air vehicle. A human surgeon will conduct all the required surgical procedures from a remote location using a system of surgical manipulators. The system's actions are then communicated wirelessly to the surgery site. Automated robotic systems will provide necessary support to the surgeon to conduct all phases of the operation.
The team includes:
- SRI International, developer of pioneering telesurgery systems
- General Dynamics Robotic Systems, a leader in unmanned ground vehicle systems and developer of the automated pharmacy system
- University of Maryland, a research leader in Operating Room of the Future and pervasive computing
- University of Texas, a research leader in software control systems for material disposal and space manipulators
- University of Washington, a research leader in surgical robotics
- Robotic Surgical Tech, Inc., developers of the first robotic nurse systems for the operating room
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a leader in weapons and material handling robotics
See the Maryland Trauma Pod document repository for additional project related documents.