The ARM Institute was uniquely positioned to help in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project

In spring 2020, the ARM Institute in partnership with the Department of Defense released a special COVID-19 Project Call. The ARM Institute membership responded to this call with robotic solutions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to future disasters. This project was funded through this call.

Objective

This project seeks to automate the quality assurance tests for PPE inspection, thus improving the performance, productivity, and efficiency of PPE manufacturing in the U.S.

Technical Approach

The quality assurance procedures for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as facemasks, is labor intensive and time consuming. Sample testing of PPE has become a priority not only in manufacturing plants but also at medical centers. The national labs providing validation testing for PPE are reporting lead times up to 75 days due to lack of qualified technicians and overwhelming volume of new requests.  This project aims to develop a robotic system to automate the quality assurance tests for PPE inspection, thus improving the performance, productivity, and efficiency of PPE manufacturing in the United States. 

Participants

Principal Investigator: Northeastern University Project Team: Merrow Manufacturing