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Introduction

Dear reader,

It is already 7 months ago that our project started and that means that the year of MARCH III is already half way over! Of course we have had a lot of great experiences during this past half year. Even only in this newsletter we can look back on several highlights! But also for the upcoming time there are more than enough interesting events on our agenda. Meanwhile the month March has come: One of the most crucial months for our project. This month is so crucial because the production of the MARCH III will finally start! Of course we will elaborate in this point later on in this newsletter. Also in the non-technical field there is more than enough to do: The MARCH III design presentation, a visit to the EPP Bureau Group Meeting in Valencia and the recruitment of the MARCH IV team will start. Enough information to fill up this newsletter. Have fun reading!

Last month

As usual we start the newsletter with a retrospect upon the highlights of the last month. February was almost completely about the crowdfunding campaign #MakeUsMARCH. Still there were enough other things to do in the MARCH offices. We held our first interestdrinks for the new teammembers, visited an event in mall The Hoven and some of us enjoyed their holidays!

Crowdfunding

In order to start the production of the joints this year, we started our second PR Campaign: #MakeUsMARCH. Using the motto #Joinourjoints we asked all people involved with our project for a contribution. This has led to a fantastic result: A final amount of €7665,- was reached. Using this money we were able to order two parts of the exoskeleton: The Motion Contollers and the Harmonic Drives.

The motion controllers are used to control the movement of the joint. The electrical signal sent from by this component causes the motor to start. The motor must spin with a velocity of 3000 rounds per minute. You can imagine that our joints won't be moving that fast. Therefore the Harmonic Drive is of great importance for flawless functionality of the joint. This is the second part where we will invest the crowdfunding money that we collected on. The Harmonic Drive is a special type of transmission mechanism. It translates the velocity of the spinning motor to the right velocity for walking. Using this transmittor, 100 spins of the motor result in only one full spin of the joint. Both components are inevitable for the realisation of a properly functioning joint and thus a movement that is as natural as possible.

VIP visits

This month we hosted to Dutch celebrities in the Project MARCH workshop. First of all the Secretary General of the ministry of VWS, Erik Gerritsen, visited our project. In the light of the Dutch e-Health week, he travelled troughout the whole Netherlands, searching for new medical-technical innovations. Project MARCH fits this category very well and that is why we were asked to give a brief tour and presentation about our project. We even managed to take a nice selfie with the Secretary-General!
Besides that, Taeke Taekema also vistited the D:DREAMhall. As a former tophockey player he, as no other, is interested in the human movement. Together with his media team he went looking for new technologies that are going to make a difference in the future. With Taeke Taekama we shot a short film to present our project to the outside world. Hopefully you can admire this video on our Social Media and website on short notice. Anyways, Robbert has initiated a new friendship.

Interest drinks & interest lunch

Last month the recruitment period of the team of MARCH IV started. Since the team of MARCH III will pass on their responsiblities to the new team after participationin the Cybathlon, it is right about time to start looking for new team members! On the 19th of February we held the general interest drink in the D:DREAMhall, where all dreamteams had the chance to present their project. A week later we organised our own MARCH interest drink. Fortunately we experienced that there was a lot of sincere interest in the exoskeleton technology amongst the visiting students. And that is of course very promising for next years' team! To be sure to have answered all questions, we will organise an interest lunch on the 6th of March in the D:DREAMhall. Are you interested in participating in the team of MARCH IV in the next academic year 2018-2019? Please check out our website: https://www.projectmarch.nl/join-marchiv/ and sign up!

Project MARCH in de Hoven

On behalf of their fifty year anniversary, the mall 'de Hoven Delft' organised the exposition 'Future in the Hoven'. Since Project MARCH has a strong connection to future society, we had a lot of fun participating in this event. This is, of course, partially because it is always great to share the new developments in Delft with the people from Delft.

Vacation

In the week of February 5th a part of the Project MARCH team took a week of for ski and snowboard trips. This was of course to relax after a half year of hard work on the exoskeleton. While this part of the team was abroad, the other part of the team was still working hard on meeting their deadlines. But they will make sure to spend their days of sometime else!

Technical update

Production phase

Last week, on the 23th of februari, the deadline for the CATIA modell was set. Since this deadline is behind us, it is time to look forward to our production phase. The production for both the bones and the joints will start in the month MARCH. For our team this is a very special moment. The whole new design of the MARCH III will finally get some physical shapes. Hopefully all parts will be received during the month of April, so we can start the assembly of our exoskeleton!

Upcoming month

Valencia

Next week four teammembers of MARCH will travel to Valencia to participate in the EPP Bureau Group Meeting. In a two minute lasting pitch our project will be presented with a focus on the future social improvement the exoskeleton can bring. This is an enormous opportunity for our team to present for such a well-known and influencing board. There will be several big names attending this meeting. Think of president Mariano Rajoy Brey of Spain! We are looking forward to these days and strive for leaving an unforgettable impression with our project.

Careerday

In the month MARCH the Careerday of the studies Clinical Technology will take place. In this study the emphasis lies on the technical aspect of health care, which is ofcourse a nice link to Project MARCH. Our team will give several presentations on our project and of course hold a stand on the fair floor.

Design Presentation

Finally: It is time to announce the design of the MARCH III! This will be during the design presentation on the 29th of March. Of course, you, as close follower, are invited to this presentation. Discover which features are added and which improvements are made compared to the current technology. Starting from 19.30 you are welcome for a drink in the Foyer of the TU Delft aula. The presentation will start at 20u. Do you want to attend? Make sure to register via the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/wkhd6e6ZsdBAKvNH3.

As a warm-up for this event, a new PR Campaign has been brought into life: Meet MARCH. Every week we will put another technical project in the spotlight. Watch them all and you will be perfectly prepared for the desion presentation!

Conclusion

We have got a very busy, but also a very amusing month to look forward to. Therefore, keep track of our social media and website for all developments! We hope to host you at our official design presenation.

See you then!

Robbert de Lange en Magali Ponds

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