Final Year Project of Year 4 Student Yu ZHANG has been Selected as the Winner of 2020 President’s Cup
Year 4 CPEG student Yu ZHANG's Final Year Project "Assistive exoskeleton for workers and elders (助力外骨骼机器人)" won the Winner of 2020 President’s Cup.
His project aimed to develop a wearable robotic exoskeleton device to actively assist on the hip joint and lower back region in weightlifting and stair-climbing tasks. Possible users include workers, elders, and those who are injured or disabled.
In the time of 6 months, two generations of exoskeletons were designed from scratch. All the subsystems, including mechanical structure, electrical and electronics system, embedded programs, and high-level control algorithms were developed, tested and improved upon.
Designed with affordability and accessibility in mind, several innovative design ideas were proposed to improve the cost-efficiency of the final product. These ideas, such as replacing direct-drive mechanisms with a tendon-driven leverage system to enable the use of low-cost actuators, lead to great cost reductions which is crucial in introducing exoskeleton technologies to the general public.
With considerations for potential future product development and commercialization, nearly all the design work was done with industry standard CAD tools, making the final exoskeleton fast and simple to be replicated and mass produced.
A functional prototype was developed which, despite not yet quantitatively tested due to time and equipment limitations, proved useful and holds great potential in future tests and further developments.
Apart from a proof of concept that exoskeletons can be made affordable, the finished exoskeleton can also serve as a platform on which future research and product development can be conducted with ease.
Supervised by Prof. Ling SHI, the team demonstrated great determination and effort in overcoming various obstacles and finishing the project beyond the initial expectations.
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