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Topic: Bionic Man suit (Read 738 times) previous topic - next topic

jointtech

I saw on the news today they have an exoskeleton device that is letting wheelchair bound people walk.  I'm not sure how disabled the person they are testing is as far as nerve and muscle function.
Its currently not for sale, and the story was half about the taxes on medical devices...
What caught my eye was the price tag on this thing.  Supposedly its 60k in parts alone.  Meaning it will cost 1mil to the insurance company that buys it for you.
I dont see it.  The most badass tiny servos cant cost that much.  i have a servo from servocity that will rip your fingers off for under $300.
The plastic holding it together isnt 60k worth even if it was all carbon fiber.
Obvioulsy there is a ton of research that went into it but they are saying this is just the hardware cost.

After seeing the Arduino Segway I think you guys can build anything.
This device doesnt seem to use brain waves or whatever for control, it uses the same tech as when you move your cell phone and the screen flips sideways, so a gyro of some sort.  This is why i was questioning how disabled the person is to begin with as it looks like they have to start the movement meaning there must be some nerve/muscle function already.

so what do you think this device "should" cost?  Hardware only.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2219122650001/?playlist_id=929831913001
i hate video links but this was all i found quickly. 

GoForSmoke

Gotta love the Faux News bigots! If 'Obama says no' then government is getting in the way and if 'Obama says yes' then it's socialism and debt-bloat. Trust them to not tell all the details or the amounts or anything that doesn't provoke and fuel outrage.

I heard them say "you're looking at $60,000 right there" but no mention that's just for parts.


Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts

cr0sh


What caught my eye was the price tag on this thing.  Supposedly its 60k in parts alone.  Meaning it will cost 1mil to the insurance company that buys it for you.
I dont see it.  The most badass tiny servos cant cost that much.  i have a servo from servocity that will rip your fingers off for under $300.


Is it medical grade? Has it been through a vetting process to ensure that it won't fail in a way that can harm the user? Has it been certified by a standards body for use in such devices?

I sincerely doubt that the ServoCity servo has gone through anything like that - and it would probably fail if it had.

Now - I haven't seen this exoskeleton, and I do not care to even try to go to the Faux News site to look; that said, if this exoskeleton is anything like others I have seen out there, it likely uses a couple of things that aren't cheap:

1. Harmonic Drives
2. Integrated coreless motor actuators

Generally - both of these are combined into a single actuator; what you are left with is a very compact but high-torque drive system that can be easily integrated into the electro-mechanical design of the system, such that the "case" or "can" of the motor/gearbox -is- the mechanical components of the exoskeleton. It is a very tightly engineered system (you see it used on certain industrial robot arms as well); these aren't parts you can typically purchase off the shelf. Instead, the motor is custom designed to fit and align with the parts and design of the exoskeleton which forms its case/can. In addition, electrical connectors, wiring, sensors, etc - can all be integrated at this level as well. You are left with a lightweight but powerful design. You are also left with something very expensive.

Also - while it isn't addressed in your direct question, realize that medical devices have a markup just because of what they are; ever priced the real cost of a new power-chair for instance? It's definitely a racket of sorts...

That said, could it be priced less? Quite possibly; if you are someone else thinks they can do it, and make it as safe and get it certified for medical use, etc - then by all means, do it! I am sure you would have a line out the door in customers...
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

GoForSmoke

In the US and likely at least 1 other country:
Ever priced a cooking pot for home and an equivalent approved for commercial (say, tavern) use?
Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts

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