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Hstar Technologies
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  • Offer Profile
  • Hstar Technologies Corporation develops industry-leading robots to enhance automation quality in warehouse, healthcare and research settings. We have developed unique technologies through several SBIR projects to make improvements in the areas of automation intelligence, safety, flexibility and human productivity. Hstar is now transitioning from R&D prototypes to commercial products – to enable our robots to serve more people.
Product Portfolio
  • AMP Robotic Mobile Platform

  • Hstar Technologies Corporation (“HSTAR”) develops industry-leading robotic mobility platform to enhance the quality of automation in warehouses, hospitals and research institutes. HSTAR’s mobile platform AMP (Agile Mobile Platform), the company’s first robotic mobile system now in development, is designed to transport heavy and light payloads in different environments. The flexible mobile platforms can eliminate the need for humans to manually load trucks, drive forklifts or transport hazardous materials in hospitals or labs.  AMP is offered in a variety of sizes and configurations.
      • Light Payload Platform, AMP-I

      • Light payload AMP-I can be used in labs, healthcare facilities, libraries, museums, etc. With its compact size and payload of 200 lbs, it is perfect for hospitals, labs or office environments to deliver hazardous materials, liquids, paper, etc. Its omni-directional motion is especially useful in tight, crowded spaces and when interacting with people or other dynamic vehicles.
      • Light Payload Platform, AMP-S

      • The AMP-S light payload model is designed for material handling and logistics in research and industrial environments, or anywhere payloads of up to 500 lbs need to be transported. It has the same compact size as AMP-I, with a lifting plate option.
      • Industry Heavy Payload Platform, AMP-L

      • Based on AMP-II, AMP-L combines lifting function with high-payload capability. In the warehouse and manufacturing environment, AMP-L can go under the shelf and lift the shelf using its automated lifting device. This function enables a more smooth automated material handling process.
    • RESEARCH PROGRAMS

        • Robotic SmartChair

              • Hstar SmartChair

              • The Hstar SmartChair is much more than just a wheelchair. Using our proprietary Mecanum wheel drive system, the SmartChair allows the occupant to not only move forward, backward and turn like a traditional wheelchair, but also to move sideways, rotate in place, or even rotate while translating. These features allow for unsurpassed maneuverability and handling in tight spaces, both indoors and on the go.

                FEATURES
                • Robotic perception –Sensor-based detection of hazardous conditions, with automatic safety stop and collision avoidance
                • Omnidirectional– Mecanum wheels
                • Telepresence Monitoring

                ADVANTAGE
                • Smoothly navigate gaps and bumps
                • Automatically lock wheels when users enter or leave the chair
                • Provide active as well as passive restraints
                • Monitor speed and automatically initiate braking in crowded or hazardous conditions
                • Automatically stop or navigate around steps, drops, and objects (including other people)
                • Easily navigate narrow passages in homes, eliminating the need for reconstruction of hallways and doorways often required for chair use
                • Move in any direction – even sideways – to align better with a doorway, or slide into a tight spot
                • Provide continuous vital function monitoring
                • Provide ongoing telemonitoring of real-time patient and environmental data
                • Telepresence on demand – allowing either the patient or provider to initiate a session, a virtual medical visit

                BENEFIT

                • Enhance patient safety: prevent tips, falls, and collisions
                • Mobility at a whole new level. Activity area expanded. Move more like normal people
                • Enhance clinical care - within the clinical setting and beyond the hospital
          • Robotic Nursing Assistant (RoNA) System

          • Robotic patient lifting system, designed to function under direct nurse control to maneuver and lift patients weighing 300 pounds or more. Nurses suffer a higher rate of musculoskeletal injury than any other US profession, including shipping and freight handling, primarily due to unsafe patient lifting. The RoNA project addresses numerous technology and clinical protocol challenges necessary to develop a human-safe, heavy-lifting and clinically useful robotic system. This work has helped establish the framework and phased implementation of the commercial RoNA product line.

            RoNA Features and Benefits
            RoNA will deliver core benefits associated with safe patient lifting, similar to those derived from today’s traditional methods:
            • Reduced incidence of clinician workplace injuries, and associated workman’s compensation claims and lost work time
            • Fewer patient falls and injuries due to improper / unsafe lifting
            • Improved clinician staff retention and satisfaction (Gallup Score)
            • Improved patient satisfaction (Press Ganey Score) and patient referrals.
               
            Competing primarily against ceiling-mounted lift systems, mobile sling systems, and patient lift teams, RoNA offers distinct advantages:
            • Mobility and maneuverability – ceiling systems are fixed, limiting how and where they can serve patients. RoNA is mobile and omnidirectional: with mecanum wheels, RoNA can move in any direction, work in confined spaces, and navigate areas where many portable lifting systems cannot go.
            • Telepresence support – RoNA can work side by side with a trained nurse, or can be supervised by a remotely located nurse while working with a less trained attendant.Remotely located clinical experts will be able to ‘visit’ the patient, monitor physiological data in real-time and complement the local team’s ability to diagnose and treat patients.
            • Patient Safety – RoNA is an intelligent, learning system, able to sense center of gravity during the patient lift and automatically adjust. (This is due to its unique haptic feedback and ZMP stability systems). The result is that the patient will be – and feel – more secure during the lift and physical transfer than she would in human hands.
            • Reduce employee injury, worker compensation, and premature retirements – in facilities that have not yet deployed lifting devices, RoNA will deliver the full benefit of a safe lifting program, reducing workman’s compensation and injury-related costs by 40% or more. In facilities where safe patient handling programs have been implemented, RoNA will increase compliance, further reducing injury-related costs. There are two reasons for this:
              • RoNA will eliminate the need for staff to take time to find and retrieve lifting equipment; if not already accompanying the nurse, RoNA will automatically come when called.
              • Staff will want to use RoNA, and patients will ask for it: working with RoNA will be both comforting and fun.
            • Reduce staffing and equipment requirements – one RoNA system will eliminate the need for a dedicated lift team serving 100 beds. This savings alone will pay for RoNA in two years or less. Factoring in reductions in injury-related costs reduces the payback period to less than one year.
            • Rehabilitation Robotic System

            • HSTAR is developing an advanced rehabilitation robot (RehaBot) system that enables training of a wide range of ambulatory tasks during gait training process for patients with neurological and muscular injuries or functional impairments.
              HSTAR is developing an advanced rehabilitation robot (RehaBot) system that enables training of a wide range of ambulatory tasks during gait training process for patients with neurological and muscular injuries or functional impairment
              Gait training therapy helps individuals with SCI stand and walk with mechanical or other, sometimes human, assistance. Many researchers agree gait training should be started as soon after injury as is prudently possible. If we can retrain our spinal cord to actually learn to walk, and we have a little bit of connection, we might be able to strengthen the connectivity between the brain and the spinal cord, and enhance the ability to step.
              Robots could allow therapists to work simultaneously with multiple patients and maximizing the number of patients receiving treatment. Robots could relieve physical therapists from the burden of heavy, repetitive, labor-intensive training techniques and focus on the quality of treatment.

              Advantage of RehaBot:
              • Human - Robot Interaction that allows for dynamic adjustment in force and resistance; Facilitating the performance of movements that are highly-repeatable;
              • Allows for different terrains to be used; Mimic satisfactorily gait in real-life conditions;
              • Safe, reconfigurable and desirable impedance control capacity that allows for haptic feedback and real-time monitoring;
              • Capturing emotional information in virtual reality (VR)-based human-computer interaction systems designed for neuro-rehabilitation
              • Allows for patient and provider communications
              • Operate at remote site for out-patient training.
              • Combat Casualty Extraction and First Responder Robot

              • The Hstar cRoNA (combat RoNA) and follow-on projects address the need for safe and effective first responder medical assistance for fallen warfighters. cRoNA adapts the mobility, telepresence, and patient lifting capabilities of RoNA to field deployment, and adds diagnostic capabilities, including in-field ultrasound, to ensure safe casualty movement and extraction.
                The Hstar cRoNA (combat RoNA) and follow-on projects address the need for safe and effective first responder medical assistance for fallen warfighters. cRoNA adapts the mobility, telepresence, and patient lifting capabilities of RoNA to field deployment, and adds diagnostic capabilities, including in-field ultrasound, to ensure safe casualty movement and extraction.
                Building upon RoNA technology and with the support of SBIR funding, Hstar is creating a robotic casualty extraction system. Designed to work effectively in battlefield conditions, cRoNA will provide traumatic neck/ spine injury assessment and casualty extraction under telepresence control by a remote medic.
                Combat trauma injury reports inAfghanistan and Iraq indicate that up to 70% of all casualties are musculoskeletal wounds. These types of injuries, and particularly those involving potential head, neck, and spine damage, present significant risk of additional injury during casualty extraction from the battlefield. Extraction also poses significant risk to potential rescuers, resulting in additional loss of life and traumatic injury.
                The cRoNA combat casualty extraction robotic system addresses these fundamental concerns. Deployment of the cRoNA system will save lives, reduce injuries, and improve quality of care and outcomes for wounded soldiers:

                • Fewer deaths and injuries among potential rescuers: cRoNA, hardened to withstand gunfire and other hazards that could cause injury, will reduce or eliminate the need for others to risk rescue under fire;
                • Fewer aggravated casualty injuries due to improper movement or inadequate immobilization of neck, spine, and extremity injuries;
                • More rapid recovery and improved outcomes due to early and improved diagnostic assessment and appropriate treatment – beginning on the battlefield and through evacuation to medical centers. In addition to improving the survivor’s quality of life, this will substantially reduce the long-term cost of care.
                  The available military market for cRoNA will be driven by U.S. combat services (Army, Marines). Additional opportunities exist for non-combat deployment, to effect rescues under hazardous circumstances such as chemical, biological, and radioactive contamination, as well as fire.
                The cRoNA is a hardened version of RoNA, able to lift casualties weighing up to 300 pounds, augmented by 3D ultrasound, infrared (IR) scan and biomedical sensors to enable real-time traumatic injury assessment. Additional planned features include autonomous ultrasound image acquisition, 3D ultrasound imaging and visualization, pattern recognition, autonomous injury assessment procedures, and telepresence robotic control. A medic will be able to operate the system remotely, with cRoNA providing traumatic injury assessment, desirable treatments, and effective battlefield casualty extraction.
                The cRoNA system is designed to meet the compelling military need for rapid and safe stabilization and extraction of wounded warfighters from the battlefield. Technologies developed for this system have direct commercial application, and will be employed as the enhanced core of Hstar’s flagship Robotic Nursing Assistant (RoNA) product line, and create additional opportunities for first responder and Homeland Security use.

                • Commercial and Military Freight & Material Handling

                • The Hstar’s dMan system brings autonomous robotic operation to warehouse and shipping material handling, creating significant opportunities for cost reduction, service quality improvement, the reduction of worker injury. Its use in battlefield environments, under telepresence control, will enable unmanned materiel loading and unloading, protecting military personnel from hostile fire and potential injury or death.

                  The Hstar’s dMan system brings autonomous robotic operation to warehouse and shipping material handling, creating significant opportunities for cost reduction, service quality improvement, the reduction of worker injury. Its use in battlefield environments, under telepresence control, will enable unmanned materiel loading and unloading, protecting military personnel from hostile fire and potential injury or death.

                  Large-scale warehouse automation systems have largely solved the problem of bulk product movement, but manual intervention is required for most truck and container loading and unloading. dMan will initially target container material handling to address labor-intensive requirements. Building upon RoNA and cRoNA development efforts, dMan will combine high maneuverability and autonomous mobility with dexterous manipulation, able to open container doors and safely handle a wide range of package sizes of 300 lbs or more.

                  Hstar is working with industry partner Sea Box, and will explore the potential for commercialization through this partner or with others equally established in the commercial and military freight systems marketplace.
                    • The dMan robot system will initially target container material handling to address labor-intensive requirements

                      • Tight maneuverability restrictions rule out most mechanical aids and placement of pre-packed pallets; shipped items need to be manually organized, placed and secured. dMan works where a forklift cannot, able to navigate ramps and operate in close quarters, spin-turn on its omnidirectional wheelbase, and utilize learned area mapping, geospatial perspective, and collision avoidance to work efficiently.
                      • Diverse contents and destinations: containers (and trucks) often combine loads from multiple customers with diverse destinations. Packages will be of diverse sizes, weights, and fragility. Packing these in a way that maximizes logistical efficiency, balances loads, and prevents breakage or spoilage is an intelligent function, ideal for autonomic robotic function. dMan software algorithms enable precise, planned freight placement within or removal and delivery from the container. Haptic feedback systems enable dexterous manipulation, with safe placement of loads weighing 300 pounds or more.
                      • Injury prevention: laborers and freight, stock, and material movers experienced over four times the national average rate of musculoskeletal injury (149 per 10,000 workers, vs. 35), and those injured were away from work twice as long (14 days) as the national median. Man assumes the heavy and repetitive lifting that can lead to musculoskeletal and other injuries. Prevention of these injuries saves $1,000 or more per injury day and prolongs the useful career of employees.
                      • Reduce freight handling time and costs, and improve “perfect order” (on time, on target) shipments. dMan, operating 24 hours per day, can unload 50 TEUs per day, the work of 15 or more laborers. Assuming an hourly union rate plus benefits of $35/hr, a dedicated operator, and a net savings of 10 laborers, savings in one year would amount to $0.7 million. dMan, priced at $200,000, would pay for itself well within the first year of operation, allowing for a generous ramp up.
                    • i-Pbot – an Intelligent robotic pallet
                       

                    • Hstar is developing an advanced omni-directional intelligent robotic pallet (i-Pbot) system for military cargo handling. The i-Pbot will be developed by integrating holonomic drive for high mobility in confined spaces, high strength actuators for active compliance control (articulation, suspension, and sensing), tele-robotics control for enhancing the guidance of robotic pallets, and wireless sensor network for self-location capability. The propelled and actuated tele-robotic device, i-Pbot system, can assure a safely balanced air cargo handling. The wireless i-Pbot swarms will navigate autonomously by swarm algorithms based on each i-Pbot’s weight and proximity to make sure that each i-Pbot parks at the proper location on the aircraft with a proper weight distribution.

                      Our first application targets military air transport, enabling faster loading and unloading of aircraft and improved ground logistics to increase sortie rates and accelerate end-to-end cargo delivery. Hstar plans to extend its application of robotic material handling technology and ConOps to a broad range of commercial applications, including commercial air freight, warehouse, plant floor, and multi-modal shipping operations.

                       
                    • Heavy duty robotic hands developed for shipping box container door handling - delicate pinch manipulations or power grips
                    • (Left) Holonomic mobile platform with high strength actuators ;(Right) The wireless i-Pbot swarms navigate autonomously at the prober location on the aircraft with weight distribution.