Description of the challenges faced by the Tech Project
MechALife is designed to be adaptable to several body types, allowing different heights and limb size proportions, while at the same time being small, discreet and able to wear close to the body so it can be used below larger clothing. This low-profile feature reduces possible social awkwardness from using the device, which will increase the users’ predisposition to wear the system through several age spectrums and social classes. We are building a full-scale prototype of the exoskeleton, and will need to cooperate with fashion design artists to develop a clothing line that fits a person using MechALife. We will provide access to this prototype and we expect the artist to apply his/her freedom of expression to help develop MechALife as a solution suitable to making a better world for elders.
Brief description of technology
MechALife is an active exoskeleton to assist daily activities such as gait, sitting or getting up and climbing stairs. The system is composed by a module that is placed in the lower back with actuators and batteries, and a mechanical structure that surrounds the lower limbs, between the waist and the floor to sustain its own weight. The mechanical structure is designed to be adaptable to several body types, allowing different heights and limb size proportions, while at the same time being small, discreet and able to wear close to the body so it can be used below larger clothing.
What the project is looking to gain from the collaboration and what kind of artist would be suitable
We are looking for an artist with a background in fashion clothing design. When people think of MechALife, we want its image to be of someone using fashionable clothes, hiding underneath the metallic structure of the exoskeleton. We wish for the artist to use an open mind and sense of innovation to make MechALife's users feel comfortable, confident in their new abilities and free of awkwardness.
Resources available to the artist
The MechAlife team is looking forward to welcome an artist in the beautiful city of Porto, Portugal. We are located in INEGI- Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and we'll provide the artist with a working place (desk, internet connection, meeting room) next to the development team. The artist will contribute for the project's progress and full-scale prototype development.