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Intro

It's a new month and so it's time again for an update on our project. Of course we strive for a walking exoskeleton at the end of our year to participate in the Cybathlon. Realizing this deadline means sometimes racing against the clock. Fortunately the team of Project MARCH hasn't been sitting around in the last month. This newsletter we will pay special attention to our technical progress. Besides that, we want to look back on November, the event month. This brought us to a lot of interesting places. And finally, we will look forward to what the upcoming month has to offer besides the holidays.

Robbert de Lange & Magali Ponds

Technical update

Last month our Technical Department has been very busy with the designing of the exoskeleton. Currently we are in the Low-Level Design Phase where the different projects of the team have to make deliberate choices for the final technical features in the exoskeleton. Prior to this phase, the High Level Concept phase took place. In this phase the team of Project MARCH went into the fuzzy brainstorm. The outcome of this brainstorm are several concepts from which a selection is made. In the current phase, the Low-Level concept phase, these selections of concepts will be further elaborated and selected. To make any further choices, the MARCH II, the second exoskeleton of Project MARCH, will be tested. For example, strain gauges were used for measurements in the last month. By placing the strain gauges on specific places on the exoskeleton, data can be gathered about the forces and deformations in the exoskeleton. We can optimize the design of the MARCH III, our next exoskeleton, with the aid of this data. This is why the MARCH II will contain some extra cables in the future to obtain information for the design process.

Slowly Christmas is coming up on the calendar, which means our concept phase will come to an end. The deadline for the final design of of the technical parts are coming close and production will follow very soon. The Technical Department is racing against the clock to meet the deadlines, which helps to get the design done in time for the next step in our process.

Last month

November is exhibition month and our calander was therefore fully filled with events, exhibitions and presentations. To give an impression of this, we have made a selection of interesting events that are worked out below.

Conference 'Verder in Beweging'

On the 10th of November Project MARCH attended the conference 'Verder in Beweging". This conference was organised by our partner, the 'Sint Maartenskliniek'. Within this conference the emphasis was on the perspective of healthcare of posture and movement in the future. The day programme consisted of lectures from inspiring speakers, like Esther Vergeer (professional wheelchair tennis player), Chris Oomen (CEO of DSW health insurances) and Jan Terlouw (writer). At our stond we were able to share our vision on this topic and discuss the future of the promising exoskeleton technology. Attending this day confirmed once more our motivation for our mission: To give back full mobility to people with paraplegia by means of an exoskeleton.

Precision Fair

On the 15th and 16th of november 2017 the 17th edition of the successful Precision Fair took place in Veldhoven. Project MARCH was present on both days to show our newest exoskeleton prototype, the MARCH II. These days were all about technology. As technical students we felt totally at home here. It was very exciting to discuss our exoskeleton technology with technicians from different backgrounds. All in all, the event was a big success.

Hi-Technology day ministry VWS

In week 46, for the first edition of the e-Health week, Project MARCH visited the ministry of Healthcare, Wellbeing and Sports. In this week, Tuesday the 14th of november was specially devoted to hi-tech. During this day, hi-tech innovations in healthcare were introduced to policymakers and directors. A good example of hi-tech is, of course, the MARCH. Therefore, our team attended this event and gave a short presentation on our project and our vision on the contribution of this promising technology to society. In this way we hope to be heard in The Hague and acquire their support in gaining more awareness for this technology.

#WhyMARCH

Three weeks ago the new PR Campaign of Project MARCH has started. In these seven weeks the Social Media channels of Project MARCH will be all about the question "Why MARCH?". In this campaign seven people, involved with our Project, answer the question: "Why do you believe in the exoskeleton?" Each of them from his/her own unique perspective. Currently, the fourth contribution to this campaign has been put online and the added value from the exoskeleton technology has been enlightened from four different points of view. The campaign started with Eiso Vaandrager, the founder of Project MARCH. He was followed up by Karel Luyben, who represented the technical view on our exoskeleton as Rector Magnificus of Delft University of Technology. Afterwards it was up to Ilse van Nes, medical doctor specialized in rehabilitation medicine at the 'Sint Maartenskliniek', to give a medical view on the exoskeleton technology. And most recently, Chris Oomen, CEO of DSW health insurance, even participated in our campaign. He shared his future vision on the exoskeleton technology in the world of Health Insurance.

Upcoming month

DSW Bruggenloop

Besides working hard on the exoskeleton, the team also does its best to stay fit. On Sunday the 10th of December six team members of Project MARCH will participate in the DSW Bruggenloop. This is a run of 15 kilometers where the participants will run over six bridges located in Rotterdam. The team members are training hard to set the best time on this trail. The start numbers are almost in our mailboxes, and we are really looking forward to the run!

'Feessie van Keessie'

"Feessie van Keessie". That is what we call it in the D:DREAMhall: The party that is given by Kees, the manager of the workplace at the D:DREAMhall. Kees helps all students in the D:DREAMhall to handle all the machinery and produce parts for their projects. But that is not the only thing that Kees does in the hall. Every day cheers everybody up with his singing and his smooth chatter. To close another year Kees throws his own party, where all DreamTeams can look back on the year while enjoying a beer and an 'oliebol'. Why? That can best be expressed by Kees's own words: "Because I love my students!".

Finally...

As you can read above, december will be a very exciting month and we can look forward to a lot of fun activities. These activities will of course not only take place in the dreamhall, because our team has also deserved a week off over Christmas. Therefore, we will be out of office from the 25th up to and including the 1st of january. But fortunately there will be a brand new newsletter waiting for you in the new year. For now, the team of Project MARCH wishes you happy holidays and a happy and healthy new year. See you in the next newsletter.
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