This is Your Next Bionic Arm

Ti­tan Arm

HWM (Singapore) - - Think - BY HUR­RAIRAH BIN SO­HAIL

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.

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