September 6, 2016
Transcend Engineering Awarded SPARK-VT Funding to Develop Healthcare Soft Robot Prototype
Two Vermont innovators are collaborating to solve the long-standing problem of moving and repositioning healthcare patients without risking injury to caregivers.
Healthcare workers suffer a shocking number of back and neck injuries from lifting and moving patients. Direct and indirect costs of these injuries are estimated at over $8 billion a year.
Devices like slings, hoists and glide sheets abound to enable safe patient handling, but none gets under the patient without caregivers performing some amount of manual lifting and repositioning, often from injury-inviting positions. Transcend Engineering’s Stephen Farrington and UVM researcher Dr. Dryver Huston have developed a soft robotic device with a creative method of extension, that can gently insert needed support elements beneath an at-rest patient.
The duo’s research has recently received a boost from a University of Vermont commercialization assistance program. SPARK-VT helps bridge the divide between research and the marketplace by bringing promising researchers together with business innovators and biotech leaders. The collaboration between Huston and Farrington was awarded SPARK-VT funding to translate a laboratory proof-of-concept to a commercializable prototype, and to develop a formal understanding of the device’s mechanics.
Dryver Huston, Ph.D., is a professor of Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont
Stephen Farrington , P.E. is a graduate of the University of Vermont, and Stanford Univeristy, and founder of Bethel-based Transcend Engineering.
Transcend Engineering develops innovations in sensing and instrumentation for geotechnical, oceanographic, atmospheric, transportation, and security uses. They are located in Bethel, Vermont, and online at http://www.TranscendEngineering.com.
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Transcend Engineering, LLC