Founding

STARX was started in the Spring of 2015 by students at the University of Michigan's College of Engineering with the goal of designing and building a powered exoskeleton which could augment the strength of a healthy adult.  To accomplish this, our high-level plan is to first design a strength-augmenting upper-body exoskeleton, then design a load-bearing leg exoskeleton, and finally integrate the two into a full suit.  We are currently a team of approximately 15 students from a multitude of engineering disciplines.


Progress

Over the 2015-2016 academic year STARX has completed a prototype for the upper-body exoskeleton called SAM-E.  Using muscle signals from EMG sensors, it adds a proportional torque to the elbow, giving the user greater lifting strength in their arm.  Work will continue to optimize it and eventually develop a two-armed version.

For this 2016-2017 academic year our focus is to develop a prototype for a load-bearing exoskeleton.  This device will transfer a load of up to 100 lbs off of the person and into the ground so they do not feel the weight.
From left to right: Kevin Rabideau, Niraj Patel, Anne Gu