How to Make a $100 Arm Exoskeleton – ExR Highlight

$100 Exoskeleton Arm

What is the cheapest exoskeleton that you can build?  We have seen home made exoskeletons that can lift heavy weights, up to and including lifting the back of a car.  But these wearable projects are good at attracting a lot of views, and not much else.  If you speak with their builders, they are more than ready to admit that the exoskeletons for heavy lifting are cumbersome and not of much use.

Kristjan Berce, aka Tex Workshop, is not interested in how much he can lift, but rather how cheaply he can lift?  The Tex Workshop has prototyped an exoskeleton arm for lift assist for only $100.  It will be interesting to see if other YouTuber’s and garage tinkerers decide to follow suit?  Competing on who can produce the best bang for their buck exoskeleton could lead to some practical discoveries and maybe even the first HP or Apple computers of the exoskeleton industry.

The project is entered for the prize.  The 2017 Hackaday Prize consists of six rounds and has a total rewards fund of $250,000.  There is a special category dedicated to assistive technology.  The competition will run from July 24th to September 4th.  The project has to demonstrate a capability to better the quality of life for the disabled be enhancing learning, working or daily living.  “Turn ‘disability‘ into ‘this ability.'”


1 × Force pressure sensor (resistor)
1 × Aluminum 4 x 30 x at least 2000mm
1 × Arduino Uno/Nano
1 × VNH2SP30 motor driver
1 × Car Windshield Wiper Motor
1 × Long wires
1 × Potentiometer
1 × Li-Po battery 3S 5500mAh
1 × Dad’s hand held lawnmower thing that you put around your body and suspend the lawnmower on
1 × Screws and nuts. M4 and M6
1 × Duct tape
1 × Zipties
1 × Rope or old dog’s leash
1 × Wooden plates
1 × 2 tactile buttons
1 × Heat shrink tube


Hackaday 2017 entry: Assistive Exoskeleton Arm (ExoArm)

A cheap Exoskeleton Arm (ExoArm), that will help elderly, disabled people and workers complete everyday tasks with less exhaustion.


How to make: an Exo-Skeleton Arm for $100

Wishing the Tex Workshop best of luck at the competition!

1 Comment

Click here to post a comment

  • Nice article, Bobby. Thankfully, medical companies like Saebo already have very accessible non-motorized wearables either covered by insurance or under $300 for stroke patients with limited movement. We tend to avoid motors to keep costs low and maintain insurance coverage. Spring-based units work quite well (light, cheap, low-profile) and I believe will be the future for quite some time.

    Keep up the great work.

Upcoming Events

Visit our media partner:

Wearable Robotics Association