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FUTEK to Sponsor The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Upcoming Cybathlon
Release Date: 07/01/16

FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. is excited to announce that it has become an official sponsor of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) in the very first Cybathlon competition in Zurich, Switzerland on Oct. 8, 2016.

The Cybathlon is a competition that invites companies and universities from all over the world to work side by side with disabled persons in order to develop advanced assistive devices. Unlike events such as the Paralympics, the Cybathlon is designed for non-athletes. Participants will compete in six different disciplines modeled after day-to-day tasks. IHMC is the only team out of 16 from the United States competing in the Powered Exoskeleton Race.

IHMC is developing a new exoskeleton called Mina v2 for the Cybathlon competition. Mina v2 features a new actuator design, which includes the addition of powered ankles. The powered ankles allow the exoskeleton to be more stable and faster than IHMC’s previous versions.

Mina v2 incorporates FUTEK’s LCB200 Rod End Load Cell into all of its actuators. Peter Neuhaus, IHMC’s Senior Research Scientist explains, “The LCB200 load cell, from FUTEK, is used in each of our actuators to measure the torque that the actuator is applying. Measuring the torque is critical because we use the measured value in our feedback loop to control the current to the motor. Also, by precisely knowing the torque, the computer can make important decisions about how to control the exoskeleton. Integrating this load cell into the actuator turn a regular, position controllable, actuator into a high fidelity, torque controllable actuator.”

The IHMC has chosen Mark Daniel to pilot the Mina v2 exoskeleton in the Powered Exoskeleton Race. The race requires that the pilot has a spinal cord injury that causes paralysis in the legs. Mark will have to complete six tasks in the including: getting up from a sofa, walking over stepping-stones and walking up and down stairs.

About the IHMC: The IHMC is one of the nation’s leading research institutes that focus on the relationships between humans and machines. Their researchers continue to develop useful technological systems to enhance the cognitive, physical and perceptual capacities of humans.

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