Success Story

NSWC Crane Partnership with GoX Studio Creates Wearable Fitness Tracker

Photo credit: NSWC Crane/GoX Studio

GoX Studio is a service-disabled, veteran-owned, small business focused on developing wearable and robotic technologies that enhance the performance, quality of life, recreation, and health of the elderly, physically impaired, emergency professionals, and athletes of all types. The founders of GoX Studio, Dr. Joseph Hitt and Dr. Bruce Floersheim, have previously worked for world-class organizations such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Military Academy (USMA).  Based on their experience, they knew that Department of Defense (DoD) agencies have a wealth of intellectual property, facilities, subject-matter experts, and innovations that are available through technology transfer mechanisms.

Under contract with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Command (NSRDEC) as well as the U.S. Army Medical Command to develop products that optimize human integrated performance, the fully integrated performance device GoX Studio is developing will include a host of features such as heart rate, electrocardiogram, respiration, skin responses, body temperature, joint angles, and ground reaction forces. The output from the device will provide data that can be analyzed to provide the user’s biomechanical and physiological state. Myriad technologies must be integrated and interfaced to provide a complete, user-friendly device that can be used not only for soldiers and warfighters, but for commercial applications such as athletics and healthcare monitoring.

GoX Studio has a previous relationship with DoD PIA partner, TechLink, in which it utilized TechLink to transfer a technology from the Army Research Lab. From this connection, Dr. Austin Leach was made aware of the device GoX Studio was working on and was able to connect them with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) in May 2015. NSWC Crane holds a patent for a system to measure power generated during activities such as walking and running (U.S. Patent Number 8,744,783 – “System and method for measuring power generated during legged locomotion.”) As Drs. Hitt and Floersheim put it, the NSWC Crane patent was the “missing link” for their project.

Currently, NSWC Crane’s technology is being implemented into the Human Integrated Performance Optimization System (HIPO). Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, Dr. Robert Templeman assisted with the development of a first-generation prototype. The alpha test of HIPO was completed in April 2016 at the Scottsdale Runway Run 10K in Scottsdale, Arizona. The NSWC Crane technology was used in conjunction with a GoX Studio-developed smartphone app to record cadence, speed, heart rate, change in heart rate, mode, energy, maximal oxygen consumption (V02,) and efficiency. On September 14, 2016, GoX Studio demonstrated the HIPO system to researchers from ARL, NSRDEC, USMA, and U.S. Special Operations Command.

The combined efforts of ARL and NSWC Crane to transfer technology to GoX Studio will lead to significant improvements in the ability to monitor and observe the health and wellbeing of U.S. soldiers and military personnel in the field and in training. Additionally, this transfer of technology will benefit not only the agencies that invented the technology, but also fulfill the directive that labs are to move innovations outside the gate to grow the economy. Current trends in wearable tracking devices ensure that there is a place in the commercial market for the power sensing insoles. These products would not have been available but for the willingness of NSWC Crane to collaborate with outside ventures, license its technology, and provide access to scientists and engineers through technology transfer.