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.
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Katlyn Lee | Daily TrojanJunior guard Elijah Stewart declared for the NBA Draft without an agent on Tuesday. The move was first reported by DraftExpress and confirmed by USC.Joining sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright and redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron, Stewart is the third USC player to declare without an agent after the Trojans’ surprise run to the Round of 32 in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Like his teammates, Stewart can withdraw from the draft before May 24.Stewart is not projected to be selected according to most experts’ mock drafts, making a return to USC likely. However, he turned heads during March Madness, pouring in 22 points against SMU and draining the game-winning shot. Six of Stewart’s baskets came from behind the arc, proving his duality across the court as a threat from outside and driving to the basket.Stewart also added 12 points and four 3-pointers against Baylor, and he was the Trojans’ leading 3-point scorer throughout the 2016-17 campaign, sinking 78 threes. The total led the team by more than 30, with Boatwright and junior guard Jordan McLaughlin in second with 47 3-pointers each. Stewart was also one of the most efficient Trojan shooters from beyond the arc, trailing only McLaughlin in 3-point percentage.The junior averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season while acting as a veteran presence on a team with just five upperclassmen. Stewart’s 175 career 3-pointers is sixth all-time in program history, just one bucket short of tying Harold Miner for fifth. A repeat of last season would catapult him to the top of the list; Lodrick Stewart is currently the all-time leader with 232 made threes from 2004 to 2007, a number that Stewart could catch up to if he continues to heat up from behind the arc.With a new contract extension and a strong incoming recruiting class, head coach Andy Enfield would surely like to retain Stewart and build on the promising 2016-17 season. Although three Trojans have declared for the draft so far, none of these players have taken on an agent, meaning that they are still flexible in their decision making. Additionally, none of these three players are predicted to go even in the final round in expert mock drafts. This could change, however, with their performance at the NBA Combine, which will take place in Chicago from May 9 to 14. The combine gives athletes a chance to showcase their abilities in a series of drills, interviews and tests. The results of those five days will be one of the key deciding factors for Stewart and the rest of the players who have declared. From there, each of the Trojans will have to make a decision to stay or go by the deadline in May. If they decide to stay, they will return to summer ball with the Trojans and look to help Enfield return his team to the NCAA tourney for the third time in a row. If not, Stewart and his teammates will head to the NBA Draft, which will take place on June 22.