In a current prototype, a series of webbing straps around the lower half of the body contain a low-power microprocessor and a network of supple strain sensors. These act as the “brain” and “nervous system” of the Soft Exosuit, respectively, continuously monitoring various data signals, including suit tension, wearer position (walking, running, crouched), and more.“Over just a couple of short years, Conor and his team will work to fundamentally shift the paradigm of what is possible in wearable robotics,” said Wyss Institute director Don Ingber. “Their work is a great example of the power of bringing together people from multiple disciplines with focused resources to translate what first seems like a dream into a product that could transform people’s lives.”In addition to its military application, the team will collaborate with clinical partners to develop a medical version of the suit that could greatly benefit stroke victims, for example, whose gait often becomes slow and inefficient.Collaborators include Wyss Institute and SEAS faculty member Robert Wood and visiting professor Ken Holt, and Terry Ellis at Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Critical to this project’s success to date has been a team of Harvard postdoctoral fellows (Alan Asbeck, Stefano de Rossi, Ignacio Galiana, Yigit Menguc) and graduate students (Ye Ding, Jaehyun Bae, Kai Schmidt, Brendan Quinlivan), and staff from the Wyss Institute (Zivthan Dubrovsky, Robert Dyer, Mike Mogenson, Diana Wagner, Kathleen O’Donnell). Boston-based New Balance also will be a key collaborator on this new phase of the project, bringing expertise in textile and apparel innovation.Under the terms of the contract with DARPA, the Wyss Institute will receive up to $2.9 million for its work on Warrior Web, with full funding contingent on meeting a series of technical milestones. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azSpdF8CGPw” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/azSpdF8CGPw/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> A biologically inspired smart suit that fits under clothing and could help soldiers walk farther, tire less easily, and carry heavy loads more safely has been given a boost that could be as much as $2.9 million.The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced today that it has been awarded a first-phase, follow-on contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to further develop its Soft Exosuit — a wearable robot — alternative versions of which could eventually help those with limited mobility as well.Technologies developed by DARPA’s Warrior Web program aim to prevent and reduce musculoskeletal injuries for military personnel, but can have civilian applications, too. The suit could reduce long-term health care costs and enhance the quality of life for people on and off the battlefield.The award is the first of what could be a two-phase contract, and it enables Wyss Institute core faculty member Conor Walsh and his team to build upon their earlier work (also funded by DARPA) demonstrating the proof-of-concept of this radically new approach to wearable robot design and fabrication. Inspired by a deep understanding of the biomechanics of human walking, Soft Exosuit technology is spawning development of entirely new forms of functional textiles, flexible power systems, soft sensors, and control strategies that enable intuitive and seamless human-machine interaction.The lightweight Soft Exosuit overcomes the drawbacks of traditional, heavier exoskeleton systems, such as power-hungry battery packs and rigid components that can interfere with natural joint movement.“While the idea of a wearable robot is not new, our design approach certainly is,” said Walsh, an assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab.The lightweight Soft Exosuit overcomes the drawbacks of traditional, heavier exoskeleton systems, such as power-hungry battery packs and rigid components that can interfere with natural joint movement. It is made of soft, functional textiles woven into a piece of smart clothing that is pulled on like a pair of pants, and is intended to be worn under a soldier’s regular gear. The suit mimics the action of leg muscles and tendons when a person walks, and provides small but carefully timed assistance at the leg joints without restricting the wearer’s movement.
The Poland international’s deal was due to expire in the summer but he has ended mounting speculation over his future by penning a two-year extension. “I am very happy and to be honest I am quite proud that I am part of the great ambitions of this club,” Boruc said. “I don’t think [Champions League is too big an ask]. We’re playing Swansea this weekend and they show playing totally different football that you can achieve a lot.” Artur Boruc is targeting Champions League football after becoming the latest Southampton player to pen a new deal. Press Association He added: “I think we are heading to this with our new manager. We are showing a lot of good work and I think the results we are getting are very good as well so, yeah, why not? “You need to ambitious in your life to achieve your ambitions. You never know what is going to happen – it is a funny story with football. Everybody has great ambitions and you need to work hard to be in that position. I do believe that we can achieve it.” Saints look all but certain to be plying their trade in the Premier League again next season and have spoken of their big ambitions for the future – something Boruc is confident they can achieve. Few could have predicted the clamour for Boruc to stay after what was a difficult start to life on the south coast. In only his second game for the club, the former Celtic goalkeeper was subject of an internal investigation into allegations he swore at home fans and threw a water bottle at them. Boruc was dropped from the side after that match with Tottenham and only returned to the starting line-up on New Year’s Day, although has since established himself as number one. “It was a bit of a roller coaster,” Boruc said. “I am glad it ended this way. That was the past and I will do everything to make the club better.”
President, Valley Industry & Commerce Association Wedge awards With premier acting Academy Awards going to deserving African-Americans Forrest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson, can we finally do away with segregationist awards shows like the BET and Latin Grammys? These types of shows made sense in the days of Jim Crow but they are now simply wedges in the hope of a truly homogenous colorblind society. – Chuck Heinold West Hills The real culprit “A fuel-saving downside” (Feb. 22) provided totally misleading information. California highways have been deteriorating for the past 20 years. Sales of hybrids and recent increases in sales of smaller, fuel-efficient cars have occurred for only the past two years. I know of no one who traded in their SUV or other high-fuel-consumption vehicle because of operation costs. I have read that taxes collected from fuel consumption have been directed to other uses rather than maintenance of highways and public transportation. Isn’t that the real reason our roads are in poor condition? – Don Evans Canoga Park Oil for roads We should make the oil companies use some of their windfall profits to help rebuild the roads; after all, they are profiting most from the miles driven. – Joe Futterer Topanga DONE’s done Re “Making like a tree” (Our opinions, Feb. 22): Lisa Sarno, the extremely capable and bright general manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, cannot be replaced. The entire system has to be. Sarno followed Greg Nelson, who had more than 10 years’ experience running DONE and could not handle it. The neighborhood councils themselves are like battlefields within their own districts. DONE is done. Start over. – Tom Gibbons Member of the board, Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council Like a train wreck Lisa Sarno was a train wreck. In any corporation she would have been terminated, but Los Angeles city government marches to a different drumbeat. After almost destroying the fine work of all the neighborhood councils, what happens? Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa rewards Sarno by appointing her head of the Million Trees initiative. At least the trees cannot protest her work, and we will not hear from her again. – Frank Jacobs Sylmar This is justice? Re: “A vote for Jessica’s Law is a vote for kids” (Their opinions, Feb. 25): Bill O’Reilly opines that the various “Jessica’s Laws,” which have been passed in many states, are solutions to child-sex crimes. He is not taking into consideration how these laws do not differentiate among levels or types of sex crimes. The ghastly predator to whom he refers in his column deserves the most severe punishment. However, under many states’ versions of Jessica’s Law, the same punishments must also apply to a hypothetical female schoolteacher in her 20s who has consensual sex with a 210-pound, 17-year-old nonvirgin high school football player. How is this justice? – Charles L. Murray Moorpark160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Re “Listen to the boss,” (Our opinions, Feb. 23): The long-term consequences of the California Transportation Commission not funding 405 Freeway projects go much deeper than just missing a rare opportunity to relieve congestion on the nation’s busiest corridor. If the CTC does not fund this project, it may well mean that federal transportation officials will interpret that as a sign that California is unwilling to match federal resources for the fixes we need most. Should the CTC not fund the 405 projects, it will be more difficult to secure the federal funds we will need for extensions to the Orange Line, Red Line and Alameda Corridor. – Brendan L. Huffman