For people who want to restore their mobility, there are currently few viable options to take. A Prosthetic of any degree are hard to make and assign to the individual patient. Any motorized version of such is extremely expensive. However, for people who are wheelchair bound, have spinal malformations or MS might find solace with an exoskeleton...
But one caveat, they cost $40,000
What it does
With 2 Pis and an Arduino, linear actuators, a 3d printed frame and great software - the LegDay allows to be users to begin an assisted walking sequence for about $300 in materials. Using precalucated frames and tailors to the prototype actuators, when connected to a sensor chip, LegDay is able to respond to it's inputs.
How we built it
We designed the leg in a 2 day marathon, then began the sprint to print the leg which took about 3 days of printing. Then once at the hackathon, we assembled the leg to the custom brackets and supports we have designed.
The actuators handle a 12V rail for charge and can support about 1500 pounds of lift. (The frame cannot however.) With a Arduino Mega and a Seeed Motor Shield we reverse the polarities of the current digitally to control forward and backward motion. Then slaved to a Pi, we have software written in Erlang and Python that match the bio-mechanically correct calculations of leg motion matched to the person it was measured for.
Once everything was wired up, custom communication protocols had to be made as well as software that allows generation of walking keyframes. Kinda cool we think.
Challenges I ran into
We realized that we didn't bring enough parts, so around a total of 4 trips to the hardware/DIY Maker store were made along with the help of MLH's hardware. There were a points were we thought this wasn't possible. We also had to prototype without breadboarding as the amperage would fry everything so a long while we were flying by. Also, the team members had no almost experience designing legs or any medical device at all whatsoever.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We built it and it works.
What's next for LegDay
This is too cool to not be put out into market. We hope this can be on the legs of people who need it most with the help of the university and the health tech community.