Today it’s the first Technology Tuesday of team ankle! After finishing the design of the knee and hip joints of the exoskeleton, it was time to start focusing on the last part of the exoskeleton: the ankles. In order to do so, a new department was established again, consisting of team members of the HMI department and the joint department.
In a very short time they completed all steps of the design process and a design for the ankles was created. All these steps are shown in the first picture. First, they started with a brainstorm, from which several promising concepts followed. Some of them were elaborated in more detail. After that, prototyping was started, during which even a deck of cards has been used! By doing this prototyping they were able to get a good picture of the chosen model, which was elaborated in more detail and was programmed subsequently. This resulted in the CAD Design. 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 second picture. This connector forms the connection between the ankle and the lower leg. It is, as the name already suggests, swappable and this makes it possible to try out different positions. This connector was programmed first, after which it was produced by means of the CNC machine. The programmed production process can be seen in the movie.
At this moment, the other parts of the ankle are also in production, such as the foot sole and we expect to receive them soon. This makes it possible for us to start with the first tests with our ankle and the ReWalk of Ruben in the near future already by connecting the ankle to the ReWalk.