November 1, 2013 – Exoskeletons make it possible for people with poor muscle tone or degenerative diseases do what would seem to be the impossible. Like Iron Man, these robotic, servomotor driven inventions allow those wearing them to perform feats of strength. The latest is the Titan Arm, invented by a group of engineering students from the University of Pennsylvania. Titan Arm just earned its inventors $10,000 by winning first prize at the second annual Cornell Cup USA, a competition sponsored by Intel.
Competing with 30 other teams from 18 universities, the Titan Arm is a wireless, upper body exoskeleton powered by an Intel Atom processor. Described as low-cost, the Titan Arm takes its direction from the wearer’s motion. It can be used for physiotherapy to help restore movement and strength in a damaged arm. Or it can be used to augment strength in a work situation helping the wearer to lift objects as much as 18 kilograms (40 pounds) heavier. Watch the demonstration to see how the arm was designed and how it works.