During the month July we have worked really hard and therefore we can tell you proudly that we achieved a lot of milestones. Despite the fact that we want to keep the final design of the MARCH II a secret until our reveal on the 31st of August (more about this later), we will give you an update on our most important achievements of last month.
Cybathlon Experience As most of you probably already know we will participate in a competition at the end of our year with Ruben as our pilot. In this video Ericka and Marise tell you everything about this competition and our preparations for this competition!
Assembly On Thursday the 27th of July, it was finally time: the assembly of the MARCH II! After all separate parts were assembled first, we were able to build the whole exoskeleton by means of all these components. We keep the images a secret for now, but we can tell you she looks even more beautiful in reality!
Air gait On Monday the 31st of July we achieved a second milestone, namely a successful air gat. This means that the exoskeleton is mounted on a special testing cage (as shown on the picture) and that it will execute the programmed gait for the first time in the air. By means of the air gait it can be checked if all software and electronics is valid and if the whole exoskeleton functions well and is able to execute the right movements. This is of course a requirement before an actual person will go into the exoskeleton.
Training with team members In order to be sure the exoskeleton also functions well with someone in it and thus is safe enough for Ruben, we first started with some training during which team members went into the exoskeleton. Last week both Xander and Gijs stood up successfully with the MARCH II. They are the only ones in the team with the same leg lengths as Ruben. Thanks to this kind of training all software could be checked carefully and we were also able to practice critical situations that could occur during a training with Ruben. In this way we were able to prepare well beforehand.
First training with Ruben On Tuesday the 8th of August it was finally time: our first training with Ruben! It was really exciting to see Ruben in our own exoskeleton for the first time. Although at first not everything worked out as planned, we succeeded and were able to stand up with Ruben in the MARCH II. This was of course the biggest milestone until then and it means at the same time that the training period with Ruben has officially started. This is really motivating for the whole team and we are really looking forward to all milestones that will follow!
MARCH around the world Although we will be working very hard during the whole summer vacation in order to achieve a fantastic result during the Cybathlon Experience, everybody is also going on a holiday. On holiday Project MARCH is not forgotten: at this moment we are working on a really nice "MARCH around the world" photo series, which will appear on our social media channels after the vacation.
Did you know... ... the new team will go full-time from next Monday and that this means there will be two MARCH teams active at the same time until the Cybathlon Experience?
... we used four different cameras during the first training with Ruben? Two to film the technical details for revision afterwards, one to shoot nice pictures and one to record video material.
... a MARCH around the world photo is already taken in 12 different countries? This will only increase from now!
Next month As already mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter, the reveal of the MARCH II will take place on Thursday the 31st of August. This is the moment on which we will finally go public with our definitive design. Until then we will be busy with the training with Ruben and the optimisation of the exoskeleton. Besides, we will of course work on the necessary preparations for the reveal and the Cybathlon Experience, that were already started with last month. Above all, keep an eye on our social media channels!