HDT Global Robotics Engineer to Talk at Marshall Foundation

Tom Van Doren, Ph.D., VP of Engineering for HDT Global in the Fredericksburg operation, will discuss the award-winning robotic arm technology and he and his team have developed beginning at 5:30 pm on Nov. 18 in the Pogue Auditorium at the Marshall Foundation in Lexington.

Dr. Van Doren’s group just received the Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Robot System award to provide the next generation of EOD robot. The manipulator arm on the robot uses the same technology they had developed for the prosthetic arm to treat warfighter injuries from IEDs.

Currently the signature product of the HDT Robotics line is the Adroit® Robotic Arm that is used for explosive disposal and other military applications. What makes the Adroit® Robotic Arm unique is its modular approach to hardware. The Adroit® Robotic Arm actually began as a prosthetic. HDT had teamed with the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University on a DARPA-sponsored project to improve prosthetics for combat veterans. Johns Hopkins focused on the interface—how the human brain could communicate with the prosthetic. HDT focused on achieving a light prosthetic that approached the real capabilities of the human hand.
“Our prosthetic arm is being used for very advanced research under the DARPA Revolutionizing Prosthetics program to give advanced arm technology plus neural integration (including a sense of touch) to both amputees and quadriplegics,” he says.
HDT Global has operations in Buena Vista also and elsewhere.

The public is invited and must register by calling Leigh McFaddin at (540) 463-7103, ext. 138 or by sending an email to reservations@marshallfoundation.org. See the Foundation’s website at marshallfoundation.org for more information.
This event is a part of the Taking Care of the Troops sequence of the Marshall Legacy Series and is being presented in partnership with Homes for our Troops.

Guests can see the exhibition, “Give Them What They Need” that features government-issued uniforms and gear carried by infantry soldiers (WWI, WWII, Korea) and other interesting and unusual objects.

Taking Care of the Troops focuses on the soldier. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall believed men and women in uniform were his greatest asset. He said, “We are going to take care of the troops, first, last, and all the time.”

Marshall knew all too well from experience about the difficulties soldiers faced while fighting overseas, and he worked tirelessly to ensure that the soldiers he was leading had everything they would need to defeat the enemy. The concern that the enlightened Marshall had for providing for his soldiers’ needs went well beyond physical items such as uniforms, guns, ammunition and blankets to include entertainment, recreation, and spiritual guidance.

Marshall’s roles in forming the USO and expanding the Army Chaplain Corps were significant in addressing morale concerns as he grew the U.S. Army from about 190,000 soldiers in uniform in 1939 to more than 8,000,000 by war’s end in 1945. General Marshall anticipated what was needed and then took action to provide for his soldiers.

The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy through a multi-year series of exhibitions, speakers and programs centered on key themes or episodes from General Marshall’s career.