MRIGlobal Delivers Sophisticated Robot, Test Chamber
Five-year program will test protective clothing under a range of conditions for the U.S. Department of Defense
MRIGlobal installed the Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System (IPEMS) – an advanced robotic mannequin and environmentally controlled chamber capable of testing Individual Protective Ensembles (IPE) under a range of conditions, including exposure to chemical warfare agents.
The robotic mannequin is remarkably lifelike – average height and anthropomorphic dimensions, sporting a full range of human motions, with the added benefit of a surface system that warms to body temperature and sweats. The mannequin surface system incorporates a set of sophisticated sensors to provide near real-time (< 1 min.) measurement of chemical contamination intrusion of the IPE.
MRIGlobal orchestrated this impressive five-year program while directing five subcontractors to develop and integrate the mannequin, its sensors, and its habitat – a unique high containment facility that can cost-effectively simulate a full range of environmental conditions while delivering well-characterized vapor challenges to the protective ensemble.
Currently, protective equipment is tested using a human subject who performs defined activities in a non-toxic environment contaminated using chemicals that simulate the behavior of chemical warfare agents.
When the IPEMS project is fully completed, the military will be able to test a soldier’s IPE on an advanced robotic mannequin with a full range of motion, capable of simulating human movement while exposed to various chemical warfare agents. The tests will occur in a variety of environmental conditions, be fully reproducible, and provide a near real-time indication (alarm) of chemical intrusion into the IPE
The Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System now resides at the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.