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Robo Dave and the Company of the Month | Cypress Semiconductor

Robo Dave and the Company of the Month

The company of the month is Cadence Biomedical What makes them unique is that they are not using a PSoC, yet. Cadence is a startup company that is building a device to increase the efficiency of the human leg thus allowing a large number of people stuck with either canes or a wheel chair to walk again unassisted. Here is a video of a friend walking unassisted for the first time in 10 years. Heather has ALS (Lou Gehrig Disease) and she is one of the bravest souls I know. The smile she has when she walks unassisted to her husband explains, in a nut shell, why I became an engineer.

 

Efficient legged locomotion systems can be found in nature. Large terrestrial animals typically do not power their movements with a motor at each joint. Muscles often span multiple joints, which results in energy-saving power transfers when a movement simultaneously requires negative power at one joint and positive power at another joint. Furthermore, it is often possible to make effective use of passive elastic properties to generate part of the required force or power without metabolic cost, especially when muscle-tendon units span multiple joints. These mechanisms are highly developed in horses. The most complex exotendon system, with twelve pulleys per limb, was able to reduce the joint moments required for normal walking by 71% and joint power by 74%. A simpler system, with only three pulleys per limb, could reduce joint moments by 46% and joint power by 47%. I was impressed with this groups start up mentality. The device used on each leg to set the spring tension is a clothes line tensioner. The harnesses were built by a back pack maker. And even though all have very impressive titles they still had to assemble their own furniture. Here is a video of me trying it out and talking with the developers.

 

 

I noticed that when wearing it I had a bit of a horses gait when a walked. That is consistent with the theory. Although they see no need for a PSoC for their finished project we will be assisting them in setting up instrumentation and wireless data logging capabilities for their development. I haven't felt so good about being an Engineer in a long time. Great work guys! Team PSoC’s official charity is the ALS Association. As a fund raiser they will be involved with the “Walk to Defeat ALS”. Here is their website www.ALSDreamTeam.com if you care to donate it will be appreciated. If you don’t know any of the walkers then donate to Heather.  She will be there either on a three wheel bike and her exotendon system. I’m not sure which. In the name of recognition area enter “PSoC Rocks”. Or give to Eric Blom because he doesn not have any donations.

P.S. yes I am aware I need to lose weight.

Comments

ebx's picture

Thanks for your support Dave. Every year we are humbled by the generosity of Cypress Employees and customers of PSoC.

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