$100 Exoskeleton Arm (ExoArm)

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Introduction: $100 Exoskeleton Arm (ExoArm)

About: I've been working with robotics, programming and have been making things for 6 years now. My biggest achievement would be a drone that I made and programmed. I also entered the Hackaday 2017 prize with a che...

ExoArm is a relatively cheap, simple and yet powerful exo-arm design that will allow for a easy usage, which is especially important for elderly and other people who need this kind of help in everyday life.

P.S. (in the middle) I've entered Invention Challenge and I would be very grateful if you could take a second of your time to vote for this project. The button is on the top of this Instructable. Thanks!

The development of this project is beginning to focus itself more on the control of the arm, then the design itself. So, maybe the n.1 goal will be to make controlling the ExoArm as cheap and as intuitive as possible, before even starting to think about design and back support.

Processing will is done with an Arduino, so the code will be fairly easy to understand and modify when wanted. Current prototype will feature an motor on the elbow, but in further designs we will also implement a shoulder actuator. The ExoArm will have back support (sometime in the near future), so that all the weight will be evenly distributed to your body. Lifting capacity will be around max 10kg or 22 pounds.

Please keep in mind that this is still an project in development and will therefore be regularly updated here .

Also I would like to express my gratitude to MegunoLink Pro , because this is probably the most AWESOME serial interface for Arduino. It saved me tons of time because it has built-in plotting features, interface builders,...

Let's kick it off with HARDWARE. These are the parts I'm currently using:

  • Strain Gauge with Load Cell Amplifier
  • Aluminum 4 x 30 x at least 2000mm
  • Arduino Uno/Nano
  • VNH2SP30 motor driver
  • Car Windshield Wiper Motor
  • Long wires
  • Potentiometer
  • Li-Po battery 3S 5500mAh
  • Dad's hand held lawnmower thing that you put around your body and suspend the lawnmower on
  • Screws and nuts. M4 and M6
  • Duct tape
  • Zipties
  • Rope
  • Wooden plates (will soon be replaced by plastic plates)
  • Heat shrink tube
  • Belts to fasten ExoArm to your arm

Of course you'll also need:

  • Drill
  • Dremel tool
  • Saw
  • Rivet tool
  • and pretty much the whole workshop

Step 1: This Will Be Updated Soon!

First of all, this won't be "how to make" tutorial, because I already made a video and also, there really is no universal way of going about making one. Each person has unique arm size, each windshield wiper motor has different dimensions... you get the idea.

I'm currently under huge time lack due to exams, and will try to get back at it as soon as possible. Thanks for understanding!

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    15 Comments

    Wow this looks great! I wonder if a project like this could be made for someone's legs?

    1 reply

    I guess it could be, but it would be expensive, since the motors that would be able to withstand the weight of a human are pretty expensive.

    I'm glad this project inspired you! Now go on and make one yourself :)

    Great stuff. I am trying to build an affordable exoskeleton arm for my disabled son. Thanks for putting this together.

    2 replies

    Hey! I'm glad you find this helpful! If you decide to go on and make something similar and you have problems, don't hesitate to message me. I would love to help.

    Thanks! That is very kind of you! I will get started this week and keep you posted on our progress. Thank you for the support.

    That is fantastic! I've been thinking of trying to build one myself but i don't think i have the skills. If you ever consider selling one, contact me.

    1 reply

    Thanks! What do you mean by selling one? Like manufacturing, or just the one?