MRIGlobal completes Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System contract for DoD

MRIGlobal announced on Thursday that it completed a five-year program to design a mannequin robot and high-containment chamber for the detection and testing of biothreats on clothing for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The program, titled the Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System, was awarded to MRIGlobal in November 2008. A team of experts came together to accomplish the task of developing novel ways to test protective clothing for biothreats without putting humans at risk.

"This program is designed to provide data on the effectiveness of protective equipment for military personnel when exposed to highly dangerous chemicals," a representative of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense said. "The mannequin mimics human movements and physical responses, allowing for safe testing of full Individual Protective Ensembles with chemical warfare agents."

Currently, protective clothing is tested for bioagents by human subjects who test clothing using non-toxic chemical stimulants that act as chemical warfare agents. The IPEMS project was developed to keep these human subjects out of harm's way, as the robotic mannequin will take the place of the human subject in the testing procedures.

The robotic mannequin, which simulates human movements, will be used to test various agents of chemical warfare. The tests will be run in different types of environments, be fully reproducible and give personnel a near real-time indication of the presence of chemical contamination.

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U.S. Department of Defense

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