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Save the Date
To get straight to the point: the date of our design presentation has been set! Write down the following date: the 24th of March! From 20:00 on we will reveal our new design by means of a presentation in the auditorium of the Delft University of Technology. The official invitation for this event will be sent to you in a couple of weeks, but in this way we want to invite you to be present at our design presentation already! 
 
TEDxSittardGeleen
Last Friday two team members were present at TEDxSittardGeleen, because our team manager was a speaker at this event. He had the chance to give a TED talk here on behalf of Project MARCH for an audience consisting of 200 people! In total, 22 speakers gave a talk on this day, all of them with a personal and very inspiring story. The theme of the event was Be Bright Together, something we did for sure. It was a successful day and we were able to share ideas with other people and to tell our own story. All talks that were given on this day were recorded, so keep an eye on our Social Media channels, since the talk of our team manager will be put on there! In this way everybody is able to see and hear this presentation.


 
Testing the Feedback System
In the meantime we started testing the chosen concepts for the feedback system, that is placed in the crutches. By means of an input device the pilot is able to control the exoskeleton. Next to this, a good feedback system is necessary, so that the pilot knows which leg is moving and when the step or action is completely finished. In this way it is no longer necessary for the pilot to look down the whole time, he or she can look forward during walking in the exoskeleton. Last Monday six team members travelled to the Sint Maartenskliniek to test the four different concepts with two different pilots. The outcome of these tests can be used subsequently to make the final choice with regard to the feedback system in the crutches.

Global positioning components
Friday the 20th of January our partner Spark Design & Innovation visited us again to think along about the integral design of our exoskeleton. This time the global distribution of the components that have to be incorporated into the exoskeleton was considered along with the most effective way these components can be placed. First mockups of these components were made out of foam and after that we played along with these mockups to see how the design comes together when you have it physically in your hands instead of only on your computer. 
 
Exams
Last week and this week all students of the Delft University of Technology have (had) exams again. This means that our part-timers (and some full-timers) had to focus a lot more on their study the last two weeks than they normally do. We really hope these exams went well for everyone and we are looking forward to work on Project MARCH at full strength again from next week onwards.

 
Team activities
This month we also had a couple of nice activities to strengthen the team bond and to preserve a good atmosphere within the team. We went to the "Oliebollen" party of Kees with a big part of the team. Kees, the workshop manager, had organized a delicious dinner for all dreamteams (including "oliebollen" and champaign) on the 12th of January followed by a very pleasant drink.
Furthermore, we had a nice evening with our own team in the Snookercafé, after we had dinner with each other in the D:Dreamhall. Here we put our precision skills to the test during a lot of pool games. It seemed that some were better than others, but that did not spoil the fun! This was again a successful evening.
 
Did you know...
... we have a new full time team member since January who has moved all the way from Maastricht to Delft to participate in our project?
... we are known in the D:Dreamhall as the team with the best lunches?
... we collect all funny quotes, said by team members, after which we choose a "Quote of the Week" that will be printed and put up in our offices?
The upcoming month
Apart from a lot of prototyping, the upcoming month will involve a lot of important decisions with regard to the design of our exoskeleton. In this way the final design will be completed. Furthermore the invitations for the design presentation will be sent out and we will work hard on the content of the presentation itself.