Meet Titan Arm: An Affordable Exoskeleton That Will Change The World

Exoskeleton technology, mech suits and robotic prosthetics are the way of the future, both for labourers and those suffering from various medical conditions. The problem with current technology, however, is the astronomical cost involved in getting them built. Thanks to the winning team of this year's James Dyson Awards, exoskeletons are finally becoming smarter and as cheap as $2000.

It's called Titan Arm, and it's a robotic exoskeleton which was developed using low-cost manufacturing and production techniques to cut the cost dramatically. It's worn by the user and augments their existing strength by an additional 18 kilograms. It's meant for use in occupational circumstances like those doing repetitive lifts, and for use in physical therapy.

The Titan Arm team consists of three students looking to solve the problem of high-cost robotic prosthetics.

The team used open source software to run the gadget, lowering the cost of the project by negating the need for their own bespoke platform.

The Titan Arm is built out of aluminium with several 3D printed parts, allowing the device to be light while retaining rigidity and lowering production cost.

The device is meant to be used to reduce workplace injuries like back strain, and can also be used to help victims of stroke and other injuries and disabilities to restore upper body functionality.

Ordinarily, you could expect a custom exeskeleton to cost upwards of $100,000, however the Titan Arm team have managed to build a product at a total cost of around $2000. They hope to use the prize money from the James Dyson Awards to improve their research and execution and have a product available for sale for under the $10,000 mark.

Congratulations to team Titan Arm!


Comments

    augments their existing strength by an additional 18 kilograms. It’s meant for use in occupational circumstances like those doing repetitive lifts, and for use in physical therapy.
    produce at $2000 and sell at $10000
    Do you even lift bro? "yes, on the price"

    you could say this pun was...
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    an attack on titan

    Last edited 07/11/13 4:44 pm

      It may have only cost 2000 to produce, but think of all the time and effort they put in to creating, polishing, improving and marketing it? This time isn't free.

        no but it contradicts their own advertised philosophy of making it affordable for the masses.
        My thought is that if you increase the price by 500% you price your target demographic out of the market
        at the same time profit shouldnt be a huge priority if greater good is a major objective

        plus if it were truly so revolutionary, accessible, affordable and loaded with the feels for the greater good. They would fly off the shelves in high volumes at low margins anyway
        thereby still covering your cost of staff/effort/time while increase the volume that is actually being used in the market

        e.g. you can sell a bicycle for $1m and have 1 guy own one, or sell them for $60 and allows millions to be able to use one

      YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

      You're a goddamn hero for that comment @furien. ALL THE UPVOTES.

      I interpreted it more as it cost them $2000 in materials/tools to build the prototype (which as it is probably at minimum needs improvements like the casing) but they're looking at a production model that will be more sophisticated and hopefully around the $10000 mark.

      Though another thing I'm wondering is how much the whole unit weighs. Since it's only supporting the upper limbs it'll potentially put more strain on the torso, particularly the lower back. Add in the fact that you're carrying heavier items than you normally would, makes me wonder how the rest of the body copes, particularly when used in a rehabilitation or carer setting. Still quite impressive work though (and i assume anyway that a lower limb/torso exoskeleton could be adapted from that technology)

    It seems odd that their philosophy is to lower the cost and increase the availability of these things but then they mark up the cost so much. 40% profit margin is standard in retail but this seems like overkill. If they're so confident in this product and it's ability to meet the niche in the market and they have the statistics behind it, they should be marketing it at governments at a reasonable price for quantity.

    Even at 40% profit margin they would recoup their costs (i.e. time invested, not money as they were provided a grant) in a short time frame if it sold well.

    Just my $0.02

    Only an extra 18 kilograms. Needs to be fifty before it would be useful

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