Last month the final design of almost all components of the exoskeleton were determined and prepared for production. At this moment, these components are being produced at full power, both in-house as at some of our partners. This also means the moment at which we can start with the assembly of the exoskeleton comes closer and closer! In this newsletter you can read more about our progress.
Cybathlon Experience Another thing that is coming closer, is the competition at the end of our year of course. By means of this newsletter we would like to tell you more about this competition. This year there will be no Cybathlon in Zürich, since this competition will be held every four years, just like the Olympic Games. Instead, there will be a spin-off of the Cybathlon, namely the Cybathlon Experience. This competition will be part of Rehacare, an international fair that is focused on rehabilitation and care, which will take place in Düsseldorf from the 4th to the 7th of October. The idea behind the Cybathlon Experience will be the same as the real Cybathlon. However, the track will consist of four obstacles and there will be a new obstacle compared to the competition in Zürich. At this moment, we are working on a video in which we explain all these obstacles separately, so you can expect this video very soon for more explanation!
As told in the previous newsletter, last month a new department was established which is responsible for the ankles of the exoskeleton. In a very short time they completed all steps of the design process and a design for the ankles was created. The final design consists of a rigid ankle with an insole, which is produced especially for Ruben. They also chose a swappable connector, which is shown in the image. This connector forms the connection between the ankle and the lower leg. It is, as the name already suggests, swappable, which makes it possible to try out different positions.
One of the components that is being produced at this moment is the hip structure. This is a part of frame and it is designed so that all of support surfaces of the human being guide the shape of this component. Due to this reason we chose a triangular structure.
Furthermore, the hip structure is the connection between the legs of the exoskeleton, making it very important that this part is stiff enough. In addition, this component will also be the largest part to be milled. The first image shows the CAD model of the hip structure, and the second image shows the block of aluminium, from where the shape is created. In addition to the hip structure, the rest of the frame, including the upper and lower leg bones, went into production.
First joint tests Also the first tests with the first iteration of the joint took place with regard to position and velocity control. After that it’s time for the real deal: the testing of the moment of force the joint can deliver, and with that the force it can provide. For this we make use of dumbbells.
In this way, we are able to attach different weights to the set-up and with that we can measure the exact moment of force the joint can deliver. When the second and last iteration of the joint arrives, we will be able to start testing in an efficient way immediately. Footage of the very first test can be found here.
We also started with the production of the cable assembly of the exoskeleton, which means that we are putting together all different electronic cables needed in the exoskeleton. First, the whole cable assembly was modelled in CATIA to be able to determine how much wiring is exactly required. Subsequently, this cable assembly is now actually being made, so that it only has to be connected to the exoskeleton once all other parts are in.
MARCH rice table
Besides all the hard work, it is of course also very important to keep doing team activities. Therefore, we had a big dinner last Friday together with both the previous, the current and the next team of Project MARCH. Some team members have worked really hard in the kitchen to prepare a delicious rice table.
From streaky belly to Indonesian rendang, nothing was absent during this culinary evening. It was really fun to have all three MARCH teams together and it was the perfect moment for everybody to get to know each other and to give the rest an extensive update about the progress of the MARCH II!
Did you know...
... the MARCH II has over 200 wires with a total length of more than 38 meters? ... our team manager designed special holders for our info folders and our business cards and produced them by 3D printing? In this way we will have an even better appearance at coming events!
... since last month team members are cooking at the Dreamhall every day? In this way we can both eat together in a relaxed atmosphere and accomplish some work even after dinner!
Coming month Coming month all produced parts will come in and we hope that we are able to work towards the air gait, which is planned for the end of July, in a successful way. Furthermore, most of us will alternately go on a short holiday for a week, so that all of us can work extra hard on the project after that.