Good Thinking

2013 James Dyson Award winners announced

2013 James Dyson Award winners...
The winner of the 2013 Dyson Award competition, the Titan Arm
The winner of the 2013 Dyson Award competition, the Titan Arm
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The developers plan to make Titan Arm open source
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The developers plan to make Titan Arm open source
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A two-arm version of Titan Arm
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A two-arm version of Titan Arm
The Titan Arm is aimed at both occupational and therapeutic markets
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The Titan Arm is aimed at both occupational and therapeutic markets
Skeletal rendering of Titan Arm
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Skeletal rendering of Titan Arm
Rendering of Titan Arm
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Rendering of Titan Arm
Titan Arm features
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Titan Arm features
The Cortex Fracture Support system
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The Cortex Fracture Support system
The cast is made of recycled plastic
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The cast is made of recycled plastic
The Cortex Fracture Support system is lighter and more comfortable than plaster casts
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The Cortex Fracture Support system is lighter and more comfortable than plaster casts
The Cortex Fracture Support is based on biological design
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The Cortex Fracture Support is based on biological design
Steps in fitting the Cortex Fracture Support
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Steps in fitting the Cortex Fracture Support
Infographic on the Cortex Fracture Support
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Infographic on the Cortex Fracture Support
The KARI loaded with boxes
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The KARI loaded with boxes
KARI is designed to be used on public transport
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KARI is designed to be used on public transport
KARI folded
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KARI folded
KARI attached to bicycle
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KARI attached to bicycle
KARI being pulled
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KARI being pulled
The KARI design
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The KARI design
KARI is designed to carry shopping bags and moving boxes
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KARI is designed to carry shopping bags and moving boxes
KARI components
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KARI components
KARI construction
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KARI construction
Titan Arm features
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Titan Arm features
The Titan Arm augments human strength
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The Titan Arm augments human strength
The winner of the 2013 Dyson Award competition, the Titan Arm
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The winner of the 2013 Dyson Award competition, the Titan Arm
View gallery - 25 images

A US team from the University of Pennsylvania has taken out the 2013 James Dyson Award with the Titan Arm, an upper body exoskeleton that augments human strength. The team will receive the £30,000 (US$48,260) first prize, with an additional £10,000 (US$16,100) going to the University Of Pennsylvania Engineering department. Competing against 650 international entries, which were whittled down to 20 finalists, the Titan Arm shared the limelight with two runners up, who will each take home £10,000.

Winner

Titan Arm

The Titan Arm augments human strength
The Titan Arm augments human strength

The Titan Arm is a lightweight, battery-powered upper-body exoskeleton that augments the wearer’s arm strength by 18 kg (40 lb) to help reduce fatigue. The device also braces the back to encourage proper lifting posture and records detailed feedback of performance for users and doctors.

The result of eight months of development by a team of mechanical engineering students, it’s aimed at laborers who do repetitive heavy lifting, physical therapy patients, and individuals who need muscular support and aid in fine motor control.

Another goal of the team was to bring the cost of an exoskeletal system down from the US$100,000 range down to less than US$2,000. As part of this effort, the team plans to make the Titan available as an open source project for further development.

Describing the Winner, James Dyson says, "Titan Arm is obviously an ingenious design, but the team’s use of modern, rapid – and relatively inexpensive – manufacturing techniques makes the project even more compelling."

Runners up

Cortex Fracture Support System

The Cortex Fracture Support system
The Cortex Fracture Support system

The first runner up will be familiar to Gizmag readers. It’s the Cortex Fracture Support system from New Zealand. Inspired by biological honeycomb structures, Cortex is a 3D-printed cast made out of recyclable plastic that weighs under 500 g (17.6 oz). It’s designed to provide the same support as a conventional plaster cast without the weight, smell or scratchiness.

KARI

KARI being pulled
KARI being pulled

The other runner up is the KARI, which is small, two-wheeled trailer and truck designed to be pulled by hand or attached to a bicycle using a simple Velcro fastener while keeping it at the same angle in both modes. In addition, its dimensions are set to allow it to fit through doorways and be taken on public transport, such as buses, trams, and trains. It can carry both shopping bags and moving boxes.

Congratulations to all the winners and all the finalists. The Titan Arm team talk about their invention in the following video.

Source: James Dyson Foundation

James Dyson Award 2013 Winner - Titan Arm

View gallery - 25 images
1 comment
Jay Finke
Cortex Fracture Support system ? WFR aquaplast came up with this flexible support system in the early 80's.