Educating Future Exoskeleton Pioneers
The EduExo 2.0 contains the hardware you need to assemble and program an elbow exoskeleton. In the box, you will find a microcontroller, sensors, plastic parts, textile cuffs, a motor, and many smaller parts such as cables, plugs, and screws. To assemble it, you need a few tools such as screwdrivers, a soldering iron, and a PC to program it.
The EduExo 2.0 handbook comprises seven main chapters introducing you to state-of-the-art exoskeleton technology. All chapters have a theoretical part that teaches you in-depth knowledge about exoskeletons. In addition, most chapters have a tutorial section that guides you through the following assembly and programming steps to build your exoskeleton with the hardware provided in the box.
Chapter 1: Introduction
The first chapter introduces the field of robotic exoskeletons - examining exoskeleton history, examples of existing systems, their functionality, and their applications.
Chapter 2: Anatomy and Mechanics:
The third chapter covers the basics of human functional anatomy and exoskeleton mechanics. Here it gets hands-on with a tutorial on the assembly of the EduExo Pro.
Chapter 3: Electronics
This chapter teaches the basic electronics knowledge and skills needed to connect all electronic parts of the EduExo Pro safely.
Chapter 4: Software
This chapter covers the software that turns the mechanical exoskeleton into a robotic exoskeleton. It contains source code examples for all exoskeleton core functions.
Chapter 5: Basic Control Systems
Chapter seven introduces control systems. Different controllers that define the exoskeleton-user interaction are introduced, discussed, implemented, and tested.
Chapter 6: Advanced Control Systems
The most important task of the control system is to ensure that it provides support when needed. To do so, the user's movement intention and physical load are valuable information. They can be estimated using muscle activity.
Chapter 7: Virtual Reality & Video Games
Virtual realities and video games can be used with exoskeletons. They are, for example, used to increase motivation in patients that use exoskeletons for rehabilitation, e.g., after a stroke. In this chapter, we create our own video game and use the EduExo as a game controller and feedback device.
Learning and Teaching with the EduExo
The EduExo was designed to facilitate learning by yourself or being used in classrooms and labs. The handbook contains all the information someone would need to assemble the exoskeleton and program basic control strategies. The handbook explains the theory and the practical skills to make sure you have a good understanding of what you are doing and why.
In classrooms, the EduExo can be used by individual students who go through the entire content or for group work, allowing each student to contribute uniquely (hardware, electronics, control, game design). The EduExo can be customized in many ways, from implementing more advanced control strategies to improving the hardware. Educators have complete freedom to customize and add modules to suit their needs.