April 7, 2017

TU Delft Students Building New Exoskeleton

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Rendering of the new exoskeleton, MARCH II, courtesy of TU Delft.

Project MARCH, a student team at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) are developing and building a versatile and user-friendly exoskeleton with the aim of helping people with paralysis perform their day-to-day activities again. The students unveiled their design on March 24. It focuses on a compact joint design and a user-friendly feedback system.

Donald Dingemanse, manager of the Project MARCH team, said an exoskeleton “gives users more freedom of movement and helps to improve their social contacts, for example with family, friends, and colleagues, because they can communicate with each other at eye level again. Using an exoskeleton significantly benefits the user’s physical and psychological health.”

Image of the prior version of the exoskeleton, MARCH I, courtesy of TU Delft.

A prior team of TU Delft students began Project MARCH in September 2015; they designed and built the MARCH I. Every year, a group of students will work full-time to improve the exoskeleton. The current team began in September 2016, and has taken the challenge to design a completely new exoskeleton, the MARCH II. This is the design that was presented on March 24 at TU Delft. The focus will involve a major modification to the way power is transferred from the motor to the joints, enabling the user to stand up and walk. The design is also more compact and will incorporate a feedback system that tells users how their legs are positioned.

Editor’s note: This story was adapted from materials provided by TU Delft.

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