This is Your Next Bionic Arm
We all want to run faster, jump higher and be stronger. Conceived, designed and built by four mechanical engineering students at the University of Pennsylvannia, the Titan Arm is a device that can help us achieve just that.
At its simplest, the Titan Arm is a battery-powered, upper-body exoskeleton than can augment the user’s lifting power by up to 18kgs. The robotic arm is connected to a rigid back brace that has to be strapped on to the wearer. With an on-board battery lasting up to eight hours, users can control the arm with a joystick, and future versions could employ electrical impulses from muscles to trigger movement.
Additionally, sensors within the Titan Arm can be used to track the arm’s motion and force. This data can be relayed wirelessly to a smartphone or computer. The information collected can then be used by doctors, for example, to track the recovery progress of stroke or injury victims as they go through their rehabilitation programs.
The developers of Titan Arm did not intend for it to be just a tool for heavy lifting. Titan Arm plans to go open source so that it can be widely available to researchers, and work is also progressing on a 3D printable variant so it be can be easily made.