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[examples]3D Printed exoskeleton arms help a little girl move it’s arms first time

[examples]3D Printed exoskeleton arms help a little girl move it's arms first time

a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems for prototyping and manufacturing, says that the “magic arms” WREX exoskeleton, designed by Nemours/Alfred l. duPont Hospital for Children, has been nominated for the Designs of the Year 2013 awards by London’s Design Museum.

Using a Stratasys Dimension 3D Printer, researchers at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Philadelphia were able to help four-year-old Emma Lavelle overcome the limitations of a congenital disorder, allowing her to use her arms for the first time. The “magic arms” device is a custom-designed robotic exoskeleton that enables her to conquer greatly limited joint mobility and underdeveloped muscles.

The Designs of the Year is an international awards program, showcasing the most innovative and imaginative designs from the past year. It spans seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Transport and Product. Category winners and the overall winner will be decided by a jury and announced to the public on 17th April 2013. The nominated entries will also be available to view in an exhibition at the Design Museum, running from March 20th 2013.

“This is an exciting time for 3D printing, as more people become aware of its potential and its impact,” said Stratasys Executive VP of Global Marketing, Jon Cobb. “We are honored to have been involved in such a worthwhile project and pleased to see it recognized by the design community.”

Besides its customer being an award finalist, Stratasys itself has been named a finalist for three Golden Mousetrap Awards from U.S. industry magazine, Design News. It was recognized in the Materials and Assembly category for its Mojo 3D Printer, its Objet30 3D Printer, and its Objet line of digital materials. Award subcategories are engineering plastics and rapid prototyping machines.

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[examples]Wild car

WildCat is a four-legged robot being developed to run fast on all types of terrain. So far WildCat has run at about 16 mph on flat terrain using bounding and galloping gaits. The video shows WildCat’s best performance so far. WildCat is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA’s M3 program. For more information about WIldCat visit our website at http://www.BostonDynamics.com.

PS: Ok, we love Boston dynamics.

[examples] Latest updates on Atlas

Atlas is an anthropomorphic robot designed to operate on rough terrain. The video shows Atlas balancing as it walks on rocky terrain and when pushed from the side. The balance and control system places the feet and swings the arms and upper body to stay upright. The controller uses inertial, kinematic and load data from Atlas’s sensors. Atlas is being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA’s M3 program. For more information visit http://www.BostonDynamics.com

[news] First mind-controlled bionic leg

After losing his lower right leg in a motorcycle accident four-and-a-half years ago, 32-year-old Zac Vawter has been fitted with an artificial limb that uses neurosignals from his upper leg muscles to control the prosthetic knee and ankle. The motorized limb is the first thought-controlled bionic leg, scientists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago reported Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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When Vawter thinks he wants to move his leg, the brain signal travels down his spinal cord and through peripheral nerves and is picked up by electrodes in the bionic leg. Unlike robotic models currently on the market, the prosthesis allows a normal, smooth gait no matter the incline.

“It makes a phenomenal difference,” says Vawter, a software engineer from Yelm, Wash., whose right leg was amputated through the knee in 2009 after he crashed his motorcycle. Aware of the institute’s work on bionic arms, Vawter and his surgeon contacted Hargrove and the team developing the pioneering prosthesis. For nearly three years ending in October, 2012, Vawter would travel to the institute periodically.

Vawter would remove his mechanical leg, slip into the bionic one, and run through a set of experiments the scientists devised, suggesting improvements and providing feedback on what was working and what was not.

Two electrodes pick up signals from the hamstring muscle, where the nerves that had run through Vawter’s lower leg were redirected during the amputation. “So when Zac is thinking about moving his ankle, his hamstring contracts,” says Hargrove.

More electrodes pick up signals from other muscles in the residual limb. The complex pattern recognition software contained in the on-board computer interprets these electrical signals from the upper leg as well as mechanical signals from the bionic leg and “figures out what Zac is trying to do,” says Hargrove.

The U.S. Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center funded the Chicago study with an $8 million grant to add neural information to the control systems of advanced robotic leg prostheses. Devising a thought-controlled bionic leg has been more challenging than a thought-controlled bionic arm, says Hargrove.

That’s because the motors must be powerful enough to provide the energy to allow someone to stand and push along — and they must be small. Also, the computer control system must be safe.

“If there is a mistake or error that could cause someone to fall, that could be potentially catastrophic, and we want to avoid that at all costs,” says Hargrove.

 

source: NBC News Channel

[examples] The Pioneer (was near)

The first exoskeleton was born in Belgrade in the 1960s

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World’s first walking active exoskeleton, pneumatically powered and partly kinematically programmed, for producing near-anthropomorphic gait. Made in 1969 at the Mihailo Pupin Institute, it was a predecessor of more complex exoskeletal devices for severely handicapped persons.

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Most successful version of an active exoske leton for rehabilitation of paraplegics and similar disabled persons, pneumatically powered and electronically programmed, realized and tested at Belgrade Orthopedic Clinic in 1972. One specimen was delivered to the Central Institute for Traumatology and Orthopedy, Moscow in the frame of the USSR-Yugoslav inter-state scientific cooperation. From 1991 the exoskeleton belongs to the basic fund of Polytechnic Museum (Moscow) and State Museum Fund of Russian Federation. It is displayed in the frame of the Museum’s exposition dedicated to the development of automation and cybernetics.

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[examples] HAL

HAL
Made by a scientist in Japan

+It’s light – 20 kilos. It detects biosignals and moves according to them. It’s totally cute.
-It can’t be used by disabled people without crutches

[examples] Rex

Rex
Made in University of Huston

+Disabled people can use it.
-It’s slow and heavy.