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MRIGlobal Concludes Five-Year Mannequin Robot And High-Containment Chamber Project

Companies mentioned in this article: MRIGlobal

Individual Protective Ensemble Mannequin System (IPEMS) will test protective clothing under a range of conditions for the U.S. Department of Defense.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MRIGlobal today announced that it has concluded a five-year program to produce a mannequin robot and high-containment chamber to test protective clothing under a range of conditions for the U.S. Department of Defense.

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The program, called the Individual Protection Ensemble Mannequin System (IPEMS), was awarded in November 2008 to MRIGlobal, which assembled a team of experts from across the country.

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

Currently, protective gear is tested using human subjects who perform defined activities in an environment with non-toxic chemical simulants that mimic 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.