Collaboration Extravaganza

 A first prototype elbow cuff.

A first prototype elbow cuff.

We've been doing a lot in the last few months. First, if you look at the top of this post you'll see one of our latest experiments. Super-Releaser has teamed up with the incredibly talented spacesuit designer and broadway costumer Kari Love.

Together we're making experiments in orthotic elbow cuffs for rehabilitation. The concept follows on from Suit Therapy for Cerebral Palsy. The idea is that someone with a chronic muscular disorder like CP can get locked into a position where their forearm is chronically bent. There are solid robotic elbows for helping them achieve the usual range of motion, but the batteries, hard actuators, and large motors make these systems inconvenient. We believe we can build a simple, inexpensive, conforming brace that fits around the arm just like an athletic support. It uses a tiny power pack of compressed CO2 and subminiature valves to provide more mechanical power than any battery the same size.


Another exciting collaboration is a rapid prototyping experiment with SOLS, a 3d printed orthotics company. We're developing some inflatables for footwear that will be on display in a conference just a few weeks from now. Keep a lookout for updates.

Finally, we've gotten a new piece of equipment for the shop, an Ultimaker 2. It's already at work, printing molds and fittings. So far, my favorite FDM printer to date.

Matthew Borgatti