SolidWorks 2017 is launching this month, and all of its advantages are described in terms of designing an upper body exoskeleton. The MyoPro by Myomo is featured as the example product used to illustrate the benefits of the new release of SolidWorks 2017. This is an amazingly clever way to advertise the MyoPro and to show millions of engineers exactly how far the exoskeleton industry has advanced.
SolidWorks is a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software used by millions of engineers throughout the world. It is made by Dassault Systèmes which regularly publishes marketing materials with each yearly iteration of the software. Last year, the company used the Parrot Bebop Drone for a series of videos and brochures that illustrate the power of their CAD software.
For the 2017 launch of SolidWorks, Dassault Systèmes have replaced the drone with a robotic exoskeleton. If this commercial campaign is anything like the Parrot Bebop Drone, there should be videos and drawings of the MyoPro circulating the internet for almost an entire year. This is an incredibly scrappy way to educate engineers all over the world on the advancements of exoskeleton technology.
The MyoPro is an elbow-wrist-fingers orthosis with a version for each arm. It is designed for people with arm weakness stemming from a multitude of causes. The latest model, the MyoPro Motion-G Orthosis has four degrees of freedom, two powered and two passive. Motors actuate the elbow and thumb and fingers (2nd and 3rd digits). The motors are controlled using EMG signal in the arm. This is a similar setup to the HANK and Hal lower body gait rehabilitation exoskeletons. The MyoPro will provide assistive force only when the user is actively attempting to perform the task at hand.
The MyoPro can be applied to upper body rehabilitation, however, due to its compact form and mobility it truly shines as an assistive device. This wearable exoskeleton restores partial use of a weakened arm, making it possible to perform everyday tasks. Cutting vegetables can be challenging without a way to pin them down. Carts and lawn maulers turn randomly when pushed with only one hand. With this medical orthotic, a weakened limb is provided with enough assistive force to be made useful again.
MyoPro in the SolidWorks 2017 videos:
Dassault Systèmes have an introductory segment that shows the MyoPro in action at the beginning of each video. Afterwards, there are videos which show how easy it is with SolidWorks 2017 to view the MyoPro in exploded view, change the injection molding of the casing, apply the name of the company to a curved surface, isolate and find the dimensions of any part and work with imported objects. The videos reveal the elbow motor, battery pack casing and slot and many other components that make up this wearable exoskeleton. There are also images of the heat dissipation from the motors across the device, suggesting there will be even more videos with this wearable exoskeleton released in the future.
While many of the inner workings of the MyoPro are revealed it is more than worth the publicity. Dassault Systèmes selecting an exoskeleton as a featured product is a step forward in popularizing the exoskeleton industry. The MyoPro is a product that has been on the market for over a year, and there is no mixing of science-fiction with reality going on here.
SolidWorks 2017 Launch: https://www.solidworks.com/launch/