Elysium Exoskeleton

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Presented By:
James Hobson
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Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?

Hey guys, my name is James and I'd like to enter my home-made exoskeleton project into the Boca Bearings 2014 Innovation Contest! I'm building this exoskeleton, vaguely based off of the one in the movie Elysium starring Matt Damon. I like to think I'm kind of like a poor man's Tony Stark, because I love making things in my garage. There's a lot of really great cosplay costumes of this kind of thing out there, but the stuff I'm making is actually functional!

When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?

I've been working on it for a few months now, although the idea has been in my head for years. It's no where near complete yet, but it's getting there!

What was your goal in building this project?

The goal is to augment my strength by a factor of at least 2-3 times, which I've already successfully proved in my recent prototype test where I curl 170lbs effortlessly -- and that's only at half system pressure. The end goal for that motion is to be able to curl more than the world record, which I believe is around 300lbs. Down the road I hope to make the exoskeleton very flexible, modular

Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?

There are a lot of functional reasons why exoskeletons could be useful -- disaster relief, restoring ability to people with disabilities, being able to do manual work with ease -- the list goes on. I've always been fascinated by the idea of them in movies, now I have the chance to make my own!

What makes your idea unique?

There are tons of awesome cosplay costumes out there of stuff like this -- while mine might not be very authentic in how it looks -- it actually works like it is suppose to!

In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?

I am currently using spherical rod ends for the shoulder joints which allow much greater flexibility than just a regular bearing. There will be many more to come as I continue to build the lower half of the exoskeleton.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?

It's nowhere near complete. This is only just the beginning.

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

If I were to win the $5,000 prize I would invest it all back into this project. I would have new metal parts made professionally, I'd make the system portable using a scuba diving air tank, pressure regulator, on-board auxiliary compressor, lithium ion battery pack, microcontroller control, muscle sensors for actuating it... the list goes on. $5,000 would really let me take this project to the next level.

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