Extra-vehicular Activity Space Suit Simulator, AKA Iron Man
UPDATE: Forrest Meyen continued this project for his Master's Thesis entitled, "Engineering a Robotic Exoskeleton for Space Suit Simulation"
Extra-vehicular Activity Space Suit Simulator, AKA "Iron Man". It is an exo-skeleton that can be used to train astronauts on the ground, simulating the effects of wearing an actual space suit(joint/motion restriction/resistance) without the need to wear an actual expensive flight space suit.
Braces at the joints were integrated with flexible pneumatic actuators that provided resistance when joints were moved. Actuators used solenoid valves to pump air in and out, which in turn created tension/compression in the actuator. A spool was designed with a tachometer inside to provide angle data to the controller as well as to keep the actuator from bending.
Below is the GUI used for initial testing. Once the actuators were placed, it was used to monitor the subjects' movements.
After my work, the project became a Master's thesis for a student in the Man Vehicle Laboratory in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at MIT. The thesis is cited in the links section. The final implementation of the suit is shown below, as modelled by Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman.