By GCN Staff

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Virtual Shooter mechanical arm tests ammo--and saves joints

A mechanical arm, developed as a Small Business Innovation Research project, will help reduce injuries to government employees who are responsible for testing thousands of rounds of ammunition weekly.  

The Virtual Shooter’s mechanical arm and hand replicate major human bone and muscular structures during the firing process and should spare human shooters from stress injuries and chronic nerve and joint pain.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Armory Operations Branch tests more than 200,000 rounds of ammunition and a variety of handguns annually before they are approved for use in the field.

“This repetitive firing takes a toll on the shooters and results in stressed joints, debilitating pain, and other physical injuries. The Virtual Shooter will go a long way in in reducing, if not eliminating, those injuries,” explained John Price, program manager of the Science &Technology Directorate’s First Responder Group.

The Virtual Shooter project was demonstrated in March 2014 at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement armory in Altoona, Pa., where agents tested multiple weapons and ammunition.

Radiance Technologies, the commercial partner that developed the prototypes, demonstrated single- and a double-armed models that fired multiple handgun and ammunition types.

Over the next year, Radiance Technologies will develop and deliver the second and final prototype. The model will then be available commercially for government and industry use.

Posted by GCN Staff on May 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM

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