What does it take to make an exoskeleton? A joint, a frame, electronics, software, sure but there is more to it than that.
At Project MARCH we are the phase where the exoskeleton is finally coming together, The various departments are now transitioning to the final stages of production. Since my last post we have already designed, produced and tested the first version of our communication board. As I write this blog the second version of the communication board has gone into production. I now wait for the boards so we can start testing them and integrating them into the exoskeleton.
These Communication boards are going to be used in various places of the exoskeleton to provide general purpose sensory input for the exoskeleton. For this version of the board we used more custom components that allowed us to modify the shape and dimension of the board to make them more easily placeable on the frame of the exoskeleton.
Designing these boards was a large part of my technical undertaking here at Project MARCH and an amazing learning experiences. While designing these boards we had the opportunity to meet with professionals within the field of design and learn tips and tricks that were vital to ensure that our designs were industry ready products. I had the good opportunity to have these designs reviewed and discussed with market leading professionals and that ensured that these designs are now industry ready. There was a lot to learn while designing these boards, I got to learn about the concepts of high speed signals on PCB and power distribution on board. These bits of knowledge that we were exposed to bridged the gap between theoretical electronics taught at the university and practical aspects of Industry production.
Besides my technical endeavours, Project MARCH has also been a joyful outlet for my social experiences. Recently the team got together for the weekend to enjoy ourselves a lovely team weekend. We spent time near the city Apeldoorn and enjoyed a lot of fun activities with team members, and was a wonderful team bonding experience.
My time at Project MARCH has taught me valuable lessons on team-work and to answer the question I asked at the start, What does it take to make an exoskeleton? The answer is that it takes a team of dedicated and talented students, and at the Dreamhall of TU Delft you will find this team.