Fred Levin and Ashton Hayward, the mayor of Pensacola, dropped by to watch Mark train. Many thanks to Mr. Levin for his generous donation to IHMC for our Levin Center for IHMC Research. The new building is fantastic and we are excited to move in next month.
Nexus Technologies hooked us up with some fast printing. Check out all the new parts. Now our exo will have the final covers and not look like a franken-robot.
About Nexus Technologies:
Nexus Technologies was founded with the mission to bring humans and technology closer together through robotics and automation. They have applied that mission to the 3d printing industry by developing autonomous solutions that offer lower part cost with a quicker turnaround time while maintaining a high standard of quality. Contact them today at email@example.com to receive a quote for your next 3d printing project.
Mark just got this:
This team has worked so hard to get ready for the Cybathlon. We are all looking forward to heading to Switzerland. I could not have wished for a more dedicated, talented, and fun group to work with.
Mark, who is paralyzed, is training for the Cybathlon. The Slalom is one of the 6 tasks. In this video, the overhead tether is only to catch Mark if he loses his balance. He is operating on battery power and controlling the exoskeleton with button presses with his right hand.
He did the slalom so many times that he started to get bored. Go figure, he's walking for the first time in many years and already he's bored. Okay Mark, challenge accepted. Tomorrow you're doing stairs.
We would like to thank The William and Karen Dalton Family for sponsoring our project.
Mark has been doing a lot of slalom course training over the past few days. He's getting really good at it.
We have completed a major hardware and electronics upgrade. Mechanically, the foot plates and the ankles are a lot stiffer and we are controlling the ankle joints in a stiffer position control mode. We also locked up the pelvis side-to-side bending motion. As a result, Mark is a lot more stable. He can stand without holding on.
We now have a lot of training and tuning to do in the next 27 days.
Last night we disassembled the entire exoskeleton in order to upgrade the motor controller boards and the electronics in the backpack. It was a late night, and we still have some assembly and testing to do today. But so far so good.
Mark has a complete spinal cord injury, meaning he has no sensation below about his stomach. So when standing in the exoskeleton, he does not know where his balance point is and if he is about to fall over. To help him learn how to balance, he needs feed back. What better way to give feedback than play games. He is using the Wii Balance Board to learn how to position himself and balance in the exoskeleton.
Mark trained for about an hour today. We worked on stand up/sit down and then walked back and forth the length of the rail a few times. Still working on a way to get up. It's pretty tough since the sofa sits pretty low.
Today, Mark took his first steps in the exo. All went smoothly. It's been 3 years since Mark walked, so he's a little rusty. And we are still tuning the hardware and software.
Mina v2 has powered ankles. This is our first test at applying torque during toe off. Tyson (able-bodied) has tested with and without toe off torque. He reported that walking with toe off torque was way better. The speed was 0.22 m/s, the fastest that we have walked so far.
Tyson (who is able-bodied) was our test pilot today. We tested sit down/stand up, walking, and stairs. Still lots of work to do for October.
We made some new parts to fit Mark better. Mark's response, "It fits like a glove. The best one yet."