Iron Man? Nope, New Lifting Aid is Called the "Titan Arm"
May 1, 2013 8:53 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: MEAM Team)
Exoskeleton arm can lift up to 50 lb, is controlled by handheld remote
Most engineering senior design projects are an entertaining, but lack the wow factor of corporate inventions. But every once in a while you'll come across a gem.
I. Titan Arm Looks to Smash Back Problems
Among the pleasant surprises from this semester was the "MEAM Team" from the
University of Pennsylvania
, who offered up their own take on an upper body exoskeleton. The team was motivated by the very real problem of back disorders which affect 600,000 workers a year in the U.S. and cost the economy an estimated $50B USD. Most of these back disorders come from overexertion during lifting.
That's where the "
" comes in.
The one-arm exoskeleton helps the user lift objects in a curl motion, sparing the user's elbow from wear and tear.
Composed of five structural members, four moveable joints, and an adjustable upper arm member, the exoskeleton is strapped on the back and onto the user's arm. The shoulder has three degress of freedom, so the user's arm is able to move relatively naturally in three-dimensional space.
A MEAM Team member works out with the Titan Arm. [Image Source: MEAM Team]
Tony Stark's Iron Man suit
, the exoskeleton system is made mostly of metal -- CNC-milled 6061-T6 aluminum, to be precise. The lightweight aluminum cuts the weight of the entire system to 20 lb. Non-load-bearing components were made using a 3D printer.
The system, which costs under $3,000 to make, can hold a static load via a braking system, or lift at 3 rad/s (for a 44 cm forearm+hand length, this works out to about 132 cm/s or 4.3 ft/s -- pretty fast. The motor is mounted in the backpack area; the elbow joint is driven by a cable system.
II. Advanced Controls and Plenty of Power
Hall effect sensors and an advanced microcontroller are used to drive the device in a smooth, fast, yet safe curling motion. The microcontroller uses a handheld remote control (similar to the WiiMote) to trigger the up and down motion.
A MEAM Team member models the Titan Arm. [Image Source: MEAM Team]
At the same time the system can lift 165W in a bicep curl. Assuming the bicep curl is a full half-circle, that works out to a lift capacity of around 20 kg or about 44 lb (the MEAM Team calculates the capacity at 50 lb, close to this napkin estimate). An aluminum backplate in the backpack-part of the device gives the user support during their lifting.
The exoskeleton market is an exploding field, but the Titan Arm is pretty slick considering it's still in its early prototype stages. The cost is particularly attractive and another upside is that there has been less upper-body exoskeleton designs compared to
(which are aimed at
helping paraplegics walk
Amazingly the arm only took
in the UPenn project competition.
Don't be surprised to see the MEAM Team and their faculty backers looking to monetize this product and sell it to employers with manual-labor intensive jobs -- such as auto companies
or the military
Titan Arm/MEAM Team
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: UPenn /= PSU
5/2/2013 9:41:46 AM
No idea why you got rated down, but that's correct. I caught that too.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
Japanese Hospitals Test Cyberborg Suits
February 11, 2013, 12:43 PM
Iron Man: New Robotic Exoskeleton Helps Paraplegics Walk
October 31, 2012, 3:30 PM
New Military Grade Exoskeleton Can Lift 200 lbs, March 12 Miles
October 26, 2010, 10:41 AM
Building An "Iron Man" Pt. I: Military Grade Exoskeleton
May 16, 2008, 1:17 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Big Media: If You Want Privacy, You're Probably a Pirate
September 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
"Decepticon" Driver Triumphs Over Cops in Massachusetts Court
September 5, 2014, 12:07 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information