Heritage Woods Secondary
Floor Location : S 047 N
The purpose for creating the Exo-Elbow was to increase the apparent strength of the user and lowering the amount of load felt by the user. The Exo-Elbow was originally designed to help people with decreased arm strength, but also has the potential to help workers in a labour intensive field by lowering the strain on the arms thus decreasing the risk of injury. Currently there is nothing out there on the market that has the same design and function of the Exo-Elbow. The Exo-Elbow is also much cheaper due to the fact that it is 3D printed out of strong PLA (Polylactic Acid) plastic. The Exo-Elbow solves the problems of those with a strength deficiency in their arms by providing strength assist to the arms through the use of an external motor/gear system. The results show that an apparent force can be felt by the user while wearing the Exo-Elbow thus taking load off of the users arm. The Exo-Elbow has contributed to the area of biomedical engineering through the introduction of the use of robotic exoskeletons worn over an existing arm increasing its strength versus a prosthetic arm that replaces a missing arm. This broadens the array of people who can benefit from biomedical engineering devices. The full design criteria was not met but major aspects were accomplished. A more complicated gear system would have allowed for the motors to be situated behind the arm, rather than at the sides. This new design would have allowed for greater mobility and a more linear design. A strong but slimmer, more sleek design would increase the mobility and comfort of the Exo-Elbow. It would also be less noticeable in the day to day lives of the user, which is always a benefit. Adding a secondary motor would double the amount of apparent force felt by the user and would have given the Exo-Elbow a symmetrical design with even weight distribution as the motors are the heaviest components of the Exo-Elbow. The gears used to transfer the force from the motor to the Exo-Elbow frame should have been made out of metal but unfortunately custom gears were not available so the gears had to be 3D printed out of plastic, as a result the motors used can only be so strong before the gears start to skip over the teeth. In the future, these design flaws will be addressed thus improving the overall design of the Exo-Elbow.