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ALICE: Robotic Exoskeleton

The first 100% open-source lower-limb robotic exoskeleton.

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Only in Mexico, around 2.5 million people can't move or walk, and in the U.S, roughly 30.6 million people had difficulty walking or climbing stairs. These rates are continuously increasing due to an aging population and chronic diseases. These people have no access to high-tech rehabilitation devices. Moreover, people with motion disability need to use inadequate crutches and wheelchairs for moving to other places. We believe that giving access to high-tech devices to the people in need of them, is a human right.

Introducing Exo ALICE, the first low-cost (under $1,000), easy to build and 100% open-source robotic exoskeleton. Designed to be fabricated anywhere in the world, with easy to access materials and all files documented online. With numerous applications, Exo ALICE can be used for rehabilitation, motion assistance, human augmentation, research, gaming, haptic experiences, learning STEM.

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Exo ALICE is a lower-limb robotic exoskeleton. It has four motors, that actuates hip and knee joints for each of the legs. Motors are managed by the Monster Moto Shield(one per two motors) and a microcontroller(Arduino Mega) controls the locomotion algorithm. The control algorithm is a closed loop system, based on the leg position (gait phase) determined by accelerometers embedded in the leg effectors. Our implemented gait model is based on the Perry gait model, but simplified for a total stage number of three. The user controls the device with a joystick that activates each leg in the moment the user indicates so.

This robotic exoskeleton implements 3D Printing Technology and novel manufacturing processes.

The device is functional and was tested with a healthy child.

This is an ongoing project, next steps are: 1)Implementation of a robust control algorithm and 2)Enhanced ergonomy with confortable braces and covers for the electronics and boards.

ino - 669.00 bytes - 10/22/2017 at 00:37

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ino - 338.00 bytes - 10/22/2017 at 00:37

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ino - 13.81 kB - 10/22/2017 at 00:37

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ino - 13.85 kB - 10/22/2017 at 00:36

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ino - 8.99 kB - 10/22/2017 at 00:36

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View all 6 files

  • 2 × PLA/PETG Filament Roll
  • 4 × 12V DC Motors
  • 2 × Arduino Mega Microcontroller
  • 2 × Monster Moto Shield
  • 4 × Accelerometers

View all 9 components

  • Ergonomic tests with a child

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos10/16/2017 at 12:13 0 comments

    We are thrilled to share with you the ergonomics tests we did with a healthy child. These tests were done to see how confortable and secure our device is, and helped us to realize some enhancements we can do related to ergonomics.

    Here are some pictures:

    Our exoskeleton being fitted to the child.

    Our exoskeleton viewed from the back.

    Our pilot was very excited to wear it.

    Definetely our device looks good, and it's a good option for motion assistance and rehabilitation in hospitals. We can't wait to see this device in the legs of every children in need of it.

    Soon, we will share detailed instructions for the construction a robotic exoskeleton.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Hip finished and Exo assembled

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos09/03/2017 at 22:06 0 comments

    We have just finished the hip manufacturing. Our hip combines 3D printing technology and carbon fiber, a novel process that enhances the contact interfaces stifness. The feet and hip were made with this manufacturing process.

    Here are some pictures:

    After finishing the feet and hip manufacturing, we assemble the robot and it looks like this:

    What's next? Ergonomic tests with a child.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Two-legged locomotion algorithm

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos08/31/2017 at 00:04 0 comments

    In the last log, we explained how the accelerometer-based algorithm works in one leg. Now, we are showing the implementation of this algorithm in both legs, being controlled by a programmable joystick. In this case, when you move the joystick to the right, the robot will move the right leg and when you move the joystick to the left, the robot will move the left leg, this allows the user to have control over the exoskeleton, deciding when to move each leg.

    Here's a video demonstrating the two-legged locomotion algorithm in action:

    Now, we are building the hip for our robot. Soon we will be able to do ergonomic tests with an user.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Accelerometer-based control algorithm

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos08/27/2017 at 00:11 0 comments

    We are very excited to share our progress. After we finished the wood stand for our robot, we started working in the control algorithm. I'll explain briefly how the algorithm works; the algorithms it's based on a 4-state machine and it's an accelerometer-based algorithm, meaning that when certain position is achieved by the leg, the algorithms knows the position and executes the next state. The 4 states described in our algorithm, are based on the Perry gait model (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7287961/).


    In this video, you can appreciate how the microcontroller reads the accelerations and executes the next state only if the desired position is achieved by the leg.

    Once the arduino codes are finished and documented, I'll post all of them on my github.

    Now, we'll be working in the two-legged locomotion algorithm.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Wood stand for Exo ALICE

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos08/08/2017 at 17:02 0 comments

    In the last days, we have been working on a wood stand for our robotic exoskeleton. While doing tests with both legs, we realized we needed more space so the legs could move with more liberty.

    Here's a picture of day 1:


    We finished the wood stand in only two days. Here's a picture of our stand:


    Now, we will put the legs in the stand and try our two-legged locomotion algorithm.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Legs with the electronics ready for tests

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos08/03/2017 at 01:27 0 comments

    After some tests with the Knee of our exoskeleton, we have assembled the two legs and implemented the electronics on them. We have put most of the the micrcontrollers, drivers and cables on the exterior of the exoskeleton, for better user's ergonomy and comfort.

    This is me, figuring out how to put all the electronics:

     Now, our prototype looks like this:

    We have started the tests regarding the two-legged locomotion. Soon, we will share our progress.

    We are very happy and proud to announce that our Exo was one of the 20 finalists in the Wheels, Wings and Walkers portionf of the Hackaday Prize. We sill continue working to open new opportunities for the people in need of these devices.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Enhanced Control Algorithm

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos07/22/2017 at 16:52 1 comment

    The enhanced version for our control algorithm is ready. Thanks to accelerometers, we can detect the exact position of the leg and implement a closed-loop control system for the movement of the leg. Here's a demo of the movement of Exo ALICE leg:

    Thanks for reading.

  • Control Tests

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos07/10/2017 at 17:50 0 comments

    We have started some control tests with our Exo ALICE knee prototype. Our control algorithm is based on the position of the knee using a joystick. For these tests, we are using a Monster Moto Shield connected to an Arduino Due to control position and speed.

    Here's a video:

    What's next? Enhanced version of the control algorithm based on accelerometers.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Excited for wheels, wings and walkers

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos06/22/2017 at 15:32 0 comments

    We are very excited to continue working on our robotic exoskeleton, a walker device that will help millions of people around the world with mobility problems.

    In the last days, we finished our right knee exoskeleton prototype. We assembled the 3D printed parts and make some mechanical tests, everything seems perfect. Here's a picture of the right knee.

    Now, we are working with the electronics and motor control. Soon, we will publish the list of all the materials needed for building a robotic exoskeleton.

    Thanks for reading.

  • 3D printing exoskeleton parts

    Guillermo Herrera-Arcos06/14/2017 at 15:03 0 comments

    One of the main goals of this project, is to make it low-cost so people all over the world can afford it. 3D printing technology is essential for rapid prototyping and for reducing costs.

    After several hours of 3D printing, right knee parts for our robotic exoskeleton prototype are ready.

    We used PETG material for higher stiffness.

    Here's a video of the right knee efector in layer mode before printing the piece:

    And here, a picture of the 3D printed parts:

    What's next? Mechanical assembly and tests.

    If you are interested, feel free to leave a message.

    Thanks for reading.

View all 11 project logs

  • 1
    Verify CAD design
  • 2
    3D print effectors
  • 3
    Cut aluminium profiles

View all 10 instructions

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Discussions

mmgos123 wrote 08/15/2017 at 20:10 point

The people who will use this project will have no mobility in their legs?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Guillermo Herrera-Arcos wrote 08/24/2017 at 03:42 point

That is the goal, we are working hard to make it possible. We are very excited for our last results, wait for the updates.

  Are you sure? yes | no

mmgos123 wrote 08/15/2017 at 20:05 point

ardruino can  will be compatible?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Guillermo Herrera-Arcos wrote 08/24/2017 at 03:09 point

Do you mean CAN-BUS? Sure, yo can implement a CAN network for the communications.

  Are you sure? yes | no

porkestron wrote 07/23/2017 at 21:54 point

Cool project!
I have a question about accelerometers. Can you tell more about them? And can we have a look at your code? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Guillermo Herrera-Arcos wrote 07/24/2017 at 02:15 point

Sure, we are using low-cost accelerometers MMA7361. Once we finish the control algorithm, I'll share the code. Thanks for your comment.

  Are you sure? yes | no

porkestron wrote 07/24/2017 at 12:05 point

Thanks for reply! And how many of them do you use?  Where are they hidden? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Guillermo Herrera-Arcos wrote 07/27/2017 at 23:47 point

Currently we are using 2 accelerometers for each leg. They are hidden under the efectors, one in the hip and other in the knee.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan DWRobotics wrote 07/22/2017 at 17:09 point

This is looking really cool. Will follow this one. Look forward to  seeing working in conjunction with a person.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Guillermo Herrera-Arcos wrote 07/24/2017 at 02:12 point

We are working on the control algorithm. Soon, we will be doing ergonomic tests with a person. Thanks for your comment.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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