Smart Brace


       Our Product is a dynamic brace intended for physiotherapeutic applications. It will provide protection from further trauma to hinge type joints during the recovery period, in addition to helping during the physical therapy period by allowing the user to move his/her joint sooner without the fear of further damaging the affected joint during physical therapy sessions. Our device uses a user configurable PID controller algorithm in order to control the stiffness and angular position of a robotic actuator in real time. It also has an auto locking function that will automatically stop the movement of the joint, if it senses a high rate of change in angular position. This device is focused on dampening and stopping high rates of change, because those changes are responsible for severe pain and also cause further damages to the joint. The robotic actuator will be responsible for providing the sensed data (angular position and angular rate of change) and the mechanical output torque. The target audience are people who have recently suffered a ligament or tendon injury on either the elbow of the knee.

fig 1.1 - current prototype

       We want to prevent people from suffering joint stiffness after a traumatic injury or surgery. This idea came to us when one of our members suffered an elbow dislocation.

Problem formulation:
       After a severe injury or surgery, patients are told to start moving the affected limb as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent joint stiffness. If the joint remains immobile for a long period of time, it will partially and progressively lose its flexibility and ability to perform simple tasks. On the other hand, it is particularly painful to move a limb during the early recovery period (first 2-3 months). This is due to the instability of the limb itself, and the rate of change in velocity of the limb during fast movements. In order to address these two factors, which reduce the chances of a full recovery and also slow it down, we are here introducing the smart brace.

       The smart brace is a device that provides structural stability and dampens the motion of limbs. In other words, it allows movement, but reduces the rate of change in velocity similar to a dampener. This reduction in acceleration will ensure that any movement will be safe for the patient.

  • 9800 mAh Rechargable Battery
  • Dynamixel CM-2 Robot Controller
  • FR07-H101K Hinge Frame Set
  • Dynamixel MX-28T Robot Actuator
  • Robotis USB2Dynamixel Adapter
  • SMPS2Dynamixel Adapter
  • 3D-Printed Actuator Mount
  • Power Protection Circuit
  • Bolts, Screws, Nuts, and Washers
       We are approximately 55% complete with our project. Currently we have a prototype (fig 1.1), power protection circuit rev1.0, and part of our code. We need to finish the 3D attachment, obtain the parameters (PID values), finish the model, and finish the code.

Data Flow
fig 1.2 - data flow diagram

Transition Diagram
fig 1.3 - transition diagram

Andres Botello | Ryan Deeb | Carlos Molina | Paul Saxon