The Silicon Review
AnthroTronix is a research and development (R&D) firm specializing in the development of advanced interface technology; product development for wearable computing and robotic control systems; and design, development, and testing of simulation tools for training applications.
The company supplies its R&D services and advanced product development to commercial and governmental customers. The R&D company was founded by Dr. Corinna Lathan and Jack Maxwell Vice. In January 2005, AnthroTronix launched a subsidiary, AT KidSystems, Inc. AT KidSystems manufactures, markets, and distributes products that emerge from AnthroTronix research and development projects.
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, AnthroTronix serves clients ranging from government agencies to private sector firms in rehabilitation, education, entertainment, military, and space.
How the Ball Started To Roll
While working in the Home Care and Telerehabilitation Technologies Center and at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dr. Corinna E. Lathan recognized a gap in the market for rehabilitation technologies. Seeking to bring technology to the market, Lathan and Jack Maxwell Vice founded AnthroTronix in July 1999 through the Technology Advancement Program (TAP) at the University Of Maryland (UMD), an incubator program for young companies. The name AnthroTronix means “human instrumentation,” reflecting the company’s dedication to interfacing people and technology.
AnthroTronix was started with grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to conduct research on bioinstrumentation of the human hand to control technology. Through a 1999 Maryland Industrial Partnerships grant, AnthroTronix partnered with the University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Lab and ToyTech, a Maryland toy-manufacturing company, to develop a robotic rehabilitation tool. In total, AnthroTronix received over $800,000 in start-up funding from R&D contracts.
In 2005, the company raised $1 million from angel investors, which was matched with $500,000 from the National Science Foundation, to start AT KidSystems, a subsidiary of AnthroTronix, to help develop and provide educational rehabilitation products for children with disabilities.
In 2006, the U.S. Defense Department awarded aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin a $1.9M, three-year contract to work with AnthroTronix to develop robotic interfaces for soldiers. With the Lockheed Martin partnership, AnthroTronix also received business assistance from Norfolk State University’s business and engineering faculty.
Products That Are Changing the Game
AnthroTronix has been continuing to grow with several new products such as DANA, the first FDA-cleared cognitive assessment app.
Its work in mobile health technology includes the development of portable, clinical decision-making tools for iOS and Android devices. As healthcare systems focus on wellness, prevention, earlier at-risk intervention, and home-based health care, regular screening for cognitive efficiency is a valuable tool for primary care providers, emergency departments, mental health practitioners, and integrative care systems. The modular systems allow for informed clinical and military assessment independent of a standard computer, optimizing field usability.
Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment (DANA) is an FDA-cleared mobile cognitive assessment tool developed by AnthroTronix. DANA records objective measurements of reaction time to assist clinicians in the assessment of an individual’s medical or psychological conditions due to factors such as concussion, dementia, post‐traumatic stress, depression, stress, fatigue, prescription and non‐prescription medications, and some nutritional supplements, among others.
AcceleGlove is a gesture recognition system that detects motion from a user’s fingers, hand, wrist, and arm. An accelerometer on each finger and the back of the hand allow for detection of the three-dimensional orientation of the fingers and palm.
CosmoBot is a robotic toolkit for use in clinical rehabilitation and special education. By helping children with disabilities stay concentrated and enabling patients to complete therapy from home, the robot facilitates physical and language skills development. The 18-inch-tall robot operates in three modes: one mimics the child’s gestures, one allows the child to record and replay sound and movement, and one leads the child through interactive games with the partner software interface CosmoWeb.
Cosmo’s Learning Systems is a learning tool for children ages 2 to 8 years. It consists of Mission Control, a sound, and pressure-sensitive computer interface device, that is used to connect to Cosmo’s Play and Learn software. The software teaches and promotes therapy goals through software packages involving a variety of games and activities.
The Founding ‘Father’
Corinna E. Lathan, Ph.D.: Dr. Corinna Lathan is CEO, Co-Founder, and Board Chair of AnthroTronix, Inc., a woman-owned biomedical engineering research, and development company creating diverse human-centered products in digital health, wearable technology, robotics, and augmented reality. Most recently, Dr. Lathan led the technical team to develop DANAtm, an FDA-cleared, mobile digital health software platform for the Department of Defense as a deployed diagnostic support to evaluate cognitive function during treatment for depression, brain injury, and post-traumatic stress. For this work, she was named a 2017 Woman to Watch by Disruptive Women in Health Care. Dr. Lathan is currently co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Enhancement.
Dr. Lathan serves as an Independent Director of PTC, Inc., a global technology provider of Internet of Things and Augmented Reality platforms. Dr. Lathan also serves as a Director of the non-profit boards Engineering World Health and The KID-Museum and is on the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Institute’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
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