ASTROFITNESS received a Global Nomination.
Find a way to adapt common gym tools for a reduced gravity environment and design a workout routine that can minimize bone and muscular loss while being fun and easy to use during a long term mission. In doing so consider constraints regarding weight (equipment should weigh less than 500kg) and dimensions. Consider incorporating virtual reality to simulate a jog through an astronaut’s favorite Earth destinations or incorporate gaming to motivate users.
Proposed work: Propose the creation of an equipment that can provide multiple muscular exercise. This prototype is based on the use of coils as an opposing agent to the direction of the movement performed by the astronaut.
Methodology: Microgravity has a few side effects on the human body. The bone and muscles are damaged during the trip because the constant floatation. The bodily fluids migrate to the head, bones are demineralized and muscles loses their tone. Physical exercise is very important to attenuate these problems.
Furthermore, microgravity also presents a challenge for physical exercise, as 50Kg bar can be easily lifted in space because of the relation between mass and gravity. For effective muscular training a mass of over a thousand kilograms would be needed.
As a solution, our group made use of physics knowledge of Newton’s third law of physics which says: “when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body”. Based on this, we realized that a large volume of material would not be necessary. Instead, we would use artifices to emulate the necessary weight for the physical exercise.
The tool of choice was the coil. When a force is applied to the extremity of the coil it deforms. stretching or compressing according to the applied force. This is known as "restoring force". Therefore, when an astronaut performs a movement in the proposed contraption, a force of equal magnitude in opposite direction would be applied. The exercise would depend on the amount of coils used.
Exercise is the battle between muscles and gravity. If there is no gravity, we will provide it for you.
Arduino/Genuino, Unreal Engine