In nature, some animals have an exoskeleton that provides protection, strength, and stability to the organism, but in engineering, an exoskeleton refers to a device that augments or aids human ability. Since the 1890s, engineers have been designing exoskeletal devices, and conducting research into the possible uses of such devices. These bio-inspired mechanisms do not necessarily relate to a robotic device, though since the 1900s, robotic principles have been applied to the design of exoskeletons making their development a subfield in robotic research. There are different multiple types of exoskeletons that target different areas of the human body, and the targeted area depends on the need of the device. Usually, the devices are developed for medical or military usage; for this project, the focus is on medical development of an automated elbow joint to assist in rehabilitation. This project is being developed for therapeutic purposes in conjunction between Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic. Because of the nature of this project, I am responsible for the development of a lightweight brace that could be applied to the elbow joint that was designed by Dr. Kevin Hollander. In this project, my research centered on the use of the Wilmer orthosis brace design, and its possible application to the exoskeleton elbow being developed for Mayo Clinic. This brace is a lightweight solution that provides extra comfort to the user.
- Upper-Extremity Exoskeleton