There are two notable firsts in the 2021 defense bill, which will help the US Army reduce accidents, save lives, and precisely deliver sensitive payloads:
- The world’s first Rescue Litter Stabilization Systems will be included in Blackhawk H-60 helicopters to instantly and autonomously detect and adjust for complex factors (wind speed, direction, updraft, and more) to neutralize chaotic motion and help rescuers reach and lift warfighters and civilians safely, regardless of challenging terrain or weather conditions.
- These systems come from Colorado’s Vita Inclinata, the first startup graduate from the AFWERX Accelerator to receive congressional appropriations.
“Vita was created to help search and rescue personnel bring everyone home, every time — and it turns out that controlling chaotic motion adds a vital tool for pilots and MEDEVAC crews across scenarios,” said Caleb Carr, Vita Inclinata CEO and co-founder.
“We are honored that our technology will be utilized in service of rescuers and warfighters, and proud to represent AFWERX’s commitment to innovation in the military,” Carr added. “This feels like small but significant validation that the US military can grow a startup ecosystem that matters.”
The $740 billion defense funding bill was signed on New Year’s Day with bipartisan support. $5.5 million of that funding has been authorized and appropriated for the Army to purchase litter stabilization systems. In accompanying report language, Congress recognized that litter stabilization technology has the potential to offer vast improvements to various military operations across all branches of service.
There is also continued support from Congress to further test and certify this type of safety stabilization technology, allowing as many military units as possible to make use of this life-saving capability.
“We worked hard to make this incredible complexity simple for warfighters, MEDEVAC personnel, and first responders, with the intention of making it easier to save lives and get home safely. Congressional recognition of technologies like Litter Stability Systems will undoubtedly spark more innovation, and our team is dedicated to being part of that,” added Derek Sikora, Vita’s CTO and co-founder.