Military

Developed For Your Advantage

Performance & Efficiency

MOFO

biodesigns’ vision is to utilize our unique experience and insight to transform the way the human body interacts with-and connects to-wearables, including weapons and armor systems, COMMS, medical equipment, batteries and other devices and gear, as well as exoskeleton platforms. But we don’t stop there. Through our prosthetic successes and years of clinical experience, we have developed attachment technology that can improve human connection challenges in many products and industries, especially military exoskeletons. In our initial research and outreach to groups and universities working with exoskeletons, they commonly cite problems in the area of human interface and connection. They recognize more work needs to be done to improve the connection and that current attachment methods like straps and cuffs are ineffective and even limiting, yet researchers and engineers continue to focus on improving actuators and algorithms. They fail to grasp the relationship between hardware and software performance and the device’s connection to the wearer. Recognizing the need, biodesigns leveraged our intimate understanding of human biomechanics and human connectivity, including our intimate experience with loads, force distribution, pressure, weight constraints, gait, shear stress, pistoning, rotational control, bone motion, compression, soft tissue management, etc., and have developed our own effective and efficient rapid access and load distribution system for the able-bodied warfighter:
The patents pending Motion-Capturing Fast-Access Osseostabilizing limb exoskeleton (MOFO), bridges the massive gap that exists between the overloaded soldier and the futuristic, complicated and expensive powered combat exoskeletons. We believe there is a need for a simple, lightweight, reliable exoskeleton platform that can quickly be adopted and distributed en masse. The MOFO is not designed to lift heavier weights or leap tall buildings in a single bound, but rather is designed to improve overall infantry performance with a simple, yet incredibly effective approach. The MOFO will allow for rapid access to mission-critical gear during battle, when the backpack is typically discarded in favor of mobility and agility, redistribute a small portion of weight and bulk from backpacks and/or vests for improved posture and balance, mitigating injuries incurred over long marches or during battlefield maneuvering.
Our MOFO exoskeleton system is ideally suited for the infantry as it can help in the warfighter’s ability to shoot, move, communicate, protect, and sustain, doing all of this without adversely affecting range of motion or negatively impacting the warfighter’s metabolic efficiency, offensive or defensive capabilities. In addition, the MOFO is suitable as a highly stabilized platform for attaching protective arm and leg armor. Due to its superior stability, the design permits a floating, yet stable plate configuration, allowing a significant offset between the plate and skin, greatly reducing injury often caused by non-lethal, partial penetration. It can also improve situational awareness (no more looking down at displays traditionally worn on the chest) while your sidearm is drawn. The MOFO platform provides more immediate access to equipment, tools and supplies for not only the operator, but others in close proximity that might also need access to gear mounted on the MOFO. And the MOFO can be integrated with already established equipment and standards.
Common problems with exoskeletons include their weight, battery life, noise, power issues, bulk and size, difficulty in syncing their motion with the operator, lack of integration with existing equipment, expense, deployment challenges, high metabolic cost, less effective use on uneven terrain, etc. And while these issues will improve over time, MOFO is able to address them now. While many in exoskeleton development are focused on lifting heavier weight, not all take into account the prevalent issue of warfighter injuries due to the heavy backpacks they carry for long periods of time over difficult terrain. The required weight in backpacks keeps increasing with no foreseeable solution for the tactical challenges this presents for the carrier. Initial internal testing confirmed the MOFO is capable of offloading up to 10% of centrally carried mass traditionally worn in a backpack. Redistributing that weight and placing selected gear not only in easily accessible areas on one or more extremities through stable attachments, but also closer to the core as compared to gear placed in the more rearward aspects of the backpack, gives operators greater functionality and saves energy while reducing injury. Furthermore, the MOFO allows operators to use their extremities more effectively than in the past. Having items at-hand and readily accessible means that even if a warfighter goes to ground, their mission-critical gear is always within reach.
As a way to reduce the negative impact of sunk costs in previous or ongoing exoskeleton projects, the MOFO can also be used as the interface platform for heavy load exoskeletons, and improve user acceptance. The MOFO can be the interface for a wide variety of current and emerging technologies requiring a human connection, making investment in our technology not only more practical but extremely cost-effective.
Our MOFO approach is based on application of our Osseostabilization™ principles through a Compression Release Stabilized (CRS) system conceived by biodesigns’ CEO Randall Alley. Inward compression is applied to the soft tissue through separate, symmetrically disposed zones arrayed longitudinally along the bone, while allowing for suitably positioned tissue release zones. This arrangement results in a syncing of the interface (and hence the external device connected to it) to skeletal motion, an effect dubbed Osseosynchronization™. Our Osseostabilizing technology is a proven approach allowing for superior stability, comfort, enhanced mobility, rotational control, reduced pistoning/ability to remain securely in place, and improved weight distribution. The goal is make the warfighter forget he or she is wearing a device at all so they can focus on their performance rather than what’s attached.
To summarize, MOFO’s true advantage and primary focus is putting a wide variety of gear in an easily accessible place while offering unsurpassed stability, comfort, and a feeling of connectivity to wearers’ gear. This stability stems from our intimate knowledge of how to create ultra-stable prosthetic interfaces for amputees with short limbs who desire to wear the latest high-tech and heavy powered components throughout the day. Because of this unique experience, the MOFO can be configured to stabilize and effectively carry an object of any reasonable size and weight that is critical for the mission at hand. The MOFO is modular. It can be worn on the lower leg, thigh, forearm and/or upper arm — in all four areas or any combination. The flexibility of this design allows it to be configured for offensive or defensive capabilities (weapons systems, limb protection systems, communications, power systems, and medical, among others).

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Biomechanical Design & Research

Validated Outcomes

DARPA

Adaptive Diagnostic Tooling for Customized Upper Limb Prosthetic Socket Fitment (D15PC00174)

DARPA realized, as do we, that the success and adoption of the “Luke” Arm relies on something beyond their control – the prosthetist. Many might think the device or component attached to the user is key to user success with a system, however the attachment strategy (in this case the socket or interface design), is the most critical aspect of determining wearer success or failure.
There are numerous and distinct challenges present for upper limb amputees including prosthetists’ limited exposure and experience fitting upper limb patients. In addition, current and standard-of-care (SOC) fitting techniques often yield biomechanically flawed sockets that are uncomfortable, unstable, or impede full range of motion, resulting in compromised device performance or election by the amputee to abandon the prosthesis altogether, despite having the most advanced prosthetic components available.
To address these challenges, DARPA sought the development of innovative diagnostic tools to improve socket fittings and socket performance, thus enabling prosthetists to more successfully and systematically deploy advanced upper extremity prosthetics, such as those developed by the DARPA RP programs.
To help solve the fitting issues common with upper limb prostheses, biodesigns competed for and was awarded a 1.5M Direct to Phase II + Option, through the SBIR/DARPA program.
Randall Alley was the primary interface (socket) consultant engaged by DEKA on their Luke arm project (which was part of DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program, RP2007), but this particular award (#D15PC00174) is biodesigns’ first DARPA contract.
The HiFi Interface™ and HiFi Imager™ System with Osseostabilization™ technology, created by Alley, was successfully used in DEKA’s Luke arm studies and is the platform technology for biodesigns’ DARPA contract. Once trials are completed and data is analyzed, the deliverable will be the creation of metrics to relate fitment diagnostics to prosthesis performance, setting the stage for a systematic approach to determine required characteristics and parameters for ideal socket fit. Finally, let there be science! Leave arts and crafts to the history books and welcome in the 21st century.
Currently, biodesigns is seeking commercialization partners to further expand this innovative research.

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