Aug 2015 - Present
Mori: A Modular Origami Robot
PhD thesis project – Mori is the first example of a robot that combines the concepts behind origami robots and reconfigurable, modular robots. It consists of flat triangular modules that can connect to each other and transform from 2D shapes into functional 3D structures. For more information please visit rrl.epfl.ch/mori.
Oct 2013 - Jul 2014
Control of Assistive Exoskeletons using Mechanomyography
Top 10 Master's Theses of the Year – For my master's thesis I worked on an existing assistive hand exoskeleton which serves as a hand rehabilitation device for stroke patients. I devised a new way for the exoskeleton to detect the intended movement of the subject’s hand by using Mechanomyography (muscle sound sensors) to sense the muscle activity in the arm.
By processing the muscle sound signals, I derived a decision-based control algorithm (using Matlab) that predicts what stage the hand is at during a sequence of movements with a robustness of over 80% for all five test subjects. My thesis was chosen as one of the Top 10 projects of the year.
Jan 2014 - Mar 2014
Human Centred Design of Assistive & Rehabilitation Devices
Best Project of the Year – In my final year I led a team of five to rethink the current method used to assess the fine manipulation skills of stroke patients with impaired motor control. We built a novel medical assessment device incorporating different feedback strategies for the patient as well as force sensing ability and wireless communication.
Our method allowed us to regard the patient as the control system to assess various aspects of their manipulation skills. I was responsible for the entire electronics and firmware development (in EAGLE and C) and I was involved in the mechanical design of the product itself. We were awarded the prize for the Best Project.
The winning group: Julius, Christoph, Jun and Matthew.
The final product: GRAM - GRip Assessment Module.
The insides: It looks messy but there sure is a lot in there.
Assembly: Force sensing points arranged in a triangle.
Testing: Making sure the individual electronics modules work.
Manufacturing: PCB for the vibration controller module.
Oct 2012 - Jul 2013
Rapid Prototyping for Body Armour
Top 10 Bachelor's Theses of the Year – For my Bachelor thesis I worked in a group of four building a 3D printer which is able to print thermoplastic elastomer (TPE, a soft plastic) to be able to quickly prototype soft protection pads. During the course of this project we designed and built a 3D-printer from scratch in order to account for the different material properties of TPE compared to the usual ABS or PLA.
At the end of the project, we successfully printed a novel grade of thermoplastic elastomer, something that had not been done before at the time. I was in charge of mechanical design (emphasis on precise movement of degrees of motion) as well as manufacture.
The final product: A 3D printer capable of printing soft plastics.
Testing: The 3D printer in action (printing ABS).
The preliminary outcome: One of the first 3D prints of a thermoplastic elastomer.
A small miracle: The printer fixes itself.
Assembly: A fraction of the hundreds of laser-cut parts.
Assembly: Hundreds of bolts and nuts hold the laser-cut printer in shape.
From bottom to top: heating, insulation and cooling blocks.
The 3D printer in action.
Jan 2013 - Mar 2013
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Challenge
Awarded the Prize for the Best Robot – One of my first practical experiences with autonomous systems was during a course on Embedded C for microcontrollers. The challenge was to develop and program a robot that could automatically locate an explosive device, retrieve a disarm code and return to the initial position.
I designed and optimized the electronics and firmware using different control strategies in order to create a control system that allowed the robot to seamlessly complete its task. For this I was awarded the prize for the Best Robot.
Feb 2012 - Mar 2012
BOSCH Handtool CAD project
Top 5 Designs – Computer Aided Design (CAD) project sponsored by BOSCH involving the design of a new battery-powered handtool, incorporating a novel function or purpose.
All 3D models were to be created from scratch with an emphasis on the design rather than the function of the device. My design was chosen as part of a selection of the best five projects.