Titan Arm Receives 2013 James Dyson Award

Titan Arm Dyson 2013

On November 7, 2013, the James Dyson Foundation announced Titan Arm, a senior design project from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM), as the recipient of the 2013 international James Dyson Award. Team members, all MEAM graduates, are Elizabeth Beattie, currently a MEAM doctoral student, Nick McGill, a master's student in Robotics, Nick Parrotta, a MEAM master's student, and Niko Vladimirov, a master's student in Integrated Product Design. This is the first time a project from the US has received this award.

The Foundation's website describes Titan Arm as, "US project Titan Arm is a one arm exoskeleton designed to help users lift heavy objects. The team of four young design engineers looked close to home for the inspiration for the project. In the US, 600,000 workers a year are affected by back problems, often caused by over exertion. "Existing exoskeletons are bulky, expensive, invasive, and tethered. Our challenge was to build an exoskeletal system that was inexpensive, streamlined, and wireless," explains team member Elizabeth Beattie. Composed of five structural members, four moveable joints, and an adjustable upper arm member, the exoskeleton is strapped on to the back and onto the user's arm. It uses a braking system to hold a static load.  And the motor is mounted in the backpack area of the device. The elbow joint is driven by a cable system."

The project, already the recipient of extensive media coverage since the spring, is receiving media attention across the world for their achievement.

BBC News: "Robotic 'power boost' arm wins James Dyson Award"

NBC News: "'Titan Arm' exoskeleton empowers heavy lifters and disabled alike"

Wired UK: "American robotic arm wins James Dyson design and engineering award"

Discovery News: "Superhuman Robotic Arm Wins Dyson Award"

The Telegraph: "Superhuman strength is in reach with Titan Arm"

NBC10 Philadelphia: Video: "Philly Grad Students Develop Exoskeleton Arm That Gives You Extra Strength"

The Next Web: "James Dyson Award-winning robotic arm can make you superhuman"

Fox29 Philly: "Local College Students Win Distinguished Award For 'Titan Arm'"

The Guardian: "3D-printed robot arm wins Dyson award"

Philadelphia Business Journal: "Robotic arm developed at Penn wins international award (Video)"

Metro: "UPenn students invent revolutionary device, win international award"

Image and video courtesy of the James Dyson Foundation. More information on the James Dyson Award can be found here.

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