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Exoskeleton Wins Golden Manus

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Exoskeleton Wins Golden Manus
Exoskeleton Wins Golden Manus

Video: Exoskeleton Wins Golden Manus

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What started in 2003 with 34 participants has meanwhile developed into a global competition in the entire industrial landscape, in which it is proven what plastic plain bearings are capable of today. At the eighth edition of the manus award, which igus awards every two years and whose winners were honored at the Hanover Fair 2017, a total of 541 inventors and developers from all over the world applied with their applications using plastic bearings. This year, the golden manus went to the USA, to Pathway LLC in cooperation with Levitate Technologies, who have developed an exoskeleton to facilitate assembly work.

Constantly repeating assembly processes, in the worst case even standing overhead - sooner or later this often leads to complaints in the neck, shoulders and back or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To counteract this, Pathway, in collaboration with Levitate Technologies, has developed a lightweight exoskeleton that relieves the muscles, supports the movement sequences and can be worn effortlessly throughout the day.

Golden manus: The exoskeleton Airframe supports movement sequences during assembly work and thus relieves the neck, back and shoulder area
Golden manus: The exoskeleton Airframe supports movement sequences during assembly work and thus relieves the neck, back and shoulder area

With the “Airframe” exoskeleton, particular attention was paid to the rotation mechanisms, which must be easy to turn even under high axial loads. To ensure this, a large number of different iglidur bearings from igus are installed in the mechanical support system. Compared to metallic bearings, they do not need to be lubricated, which is a big plus when worn in direct contact with clothing, and they are light and corrosion-free.

This means that the exoskeleton can also be used in difficult environmental conditions. All this convinced the jury of the manus award 2017, consisting of representatives from the specialist media, business and research, who awarded the application with the golden manus. This first place is endowed with prize money of 5000 euros.

Silver for underwater grab arm

Ocean Innovation System from France received the silver manus for their electrical manipulator arm, which can be used up to a depth of 500 m under water. The system is equipped with over 30 plain bearings from igus, which enable the various movements of the arm.

When extended, the arm has a load capacity of 16 kg (dynamic) to 50 kg (static). The requirements for the components: applicable in fresh and sea water, resilient up to 150 MPa, light weight, large selection, maintenance-free and inexpensive. Plain bearings made of iglidur X material, which can withstand particularly high pressure loads and have a very low moisture absorption, meet these requirements without restrictions.

Research project in space receives bronze

More than 30,000 objects move in space orbit as space debris and pose a danger to satellites. The student project UB-SPACE, which took third place at manus 2017, deals with the analysis of how the parts move in space. The team of five from Bremen has developed a module that uses a rocket ejection mechanism to launch a cube-shaped object - the so-called "Free Falling Unit" (FFU) - into space. A camera system and other sensors are used to record how the object moves in space.

The mechanism consists of two stepper motors, each of which is connected to a threaded spindle via a coupling. The opposite side is mounted on the rocket wall by 3-D printed bearings made from tribo-filament iglidur J260. To prevent the FFU from tilting, the tread of the discharge chute was lined with Tribo-Tape plastic iglidur V400 slide film. After extensive testing, the system was deployed in space on the REXUS 21 rocket launcher in March 2017. // KR

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