Rehabilitation hip brace that I bought on eBay for $40

I mentioned in my last post that one  of the major challenges has been connecting the device to the body. It needs to be comfortable yet rigid. Thinking that using molded plastic to better make that connection would be a good approach, I scored this great hip brace off of eBay for $40. It has a molded plastic piece that goes around the waist and cinches with a Velcro strap. That top piece then has molded plastic hip cups or guards which, so far in testing with it, seem to keep the brace quite rigid on the body. It’s much better than just using the strapping as I was doing in the first prototype.

Here’s another pic of the back of the brace:

Back of Rehab Hip Brace

Now the question is how to mount the motor to the brace. I took the brace hinge apart to see what I might be able to reuse of that but I haven’t come up with anything concrete yet although I have a couple of ideas. I’ll post back here with my progress.

5 Responses to “Using a Hip Brace”

  1. My ultimate goal for an open source exoskeleton is to make a water immersible (for assisting in bathing, showers, or water therapy) assistive and rehabilitative, up to four limb, exo skeleton that is powered as needed and where some movement capabilities are available, strength or movement increasing/amplifying. Further goal is to make it open source and cost less than $1,000 US$ for materials and any specialized tools/software to construct. The overall open exo would be adjustable for user size, adaptable for user abilities and disabilities, and either fully provide function as needed or provide partial function and be rehabilitate while in use helping to increase wellness through its daily use.

    You hip/leg part of the project is a key step in achieving my personal ultimate goal for an open source exo.

    Modifying an existing hip brace is a good way to go. Unfortunately, they are not always available used or available a low cost. Do you have suggestions for creating your own hip joint from other materials? Can you provide detailed photos of your existing hip brace joint so I could make one with other materials? Do you have suggestions for modifications that would make a hip joint better suited for an exo project? (such as attachments or supports for electronics or motors?)

  2. @Mike

    Thanks for your comment. What great goals for an open source exo. I like the way you think!

    I’m going to work on a new post with detailed photos of the hip joint and my thoughts on constructing it from scratch. I’ll post it here as soon as possible.

  3. @Elliot I look forward to your new post. I think that the basic physical structure and mechanisms need to be worked out first and then movement/motorization and then control/sensing/feedback. If the basic mechanisms don’t function then all the motors and computerization in the world will not make them work.

    I’ve been looking at remotely operated vehicles (under water robotics) and there is an Open ROV project. Several University teams are involved in competitions to. It may seem that these projects are radically different from yours but they do tie into the open exo project because these other projects have experience and recommendations for keeping electronics protected from water and dealing with motors under water as well. (The two projects could share ideas on dealing with a wet environment. The exoskeleton project would be somewhat easier because the ROV projects typically go deeper in water, where pressure is greater. Some of the more advanced ROV projects/competitions have task that are very similar to your goals in that they call for fairly high torque tasks such as opening a hatch or transfering a weighted object from location to another.)

    Do you have a resources page where links or articles that may relate to your project could be posted by visitors? If so, I could share links, videos, and articles as I come across them.

  4. [...] a commenter on this post about the hip brace, also has the goal of an open source exoskeleton. He’s looking to have it be water [...]

Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© 2011 OpenExo Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha