STEVE 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.
NASA has already addressed the problem of exercise in space, and whereas the existing solution reaches the demanded goals, the machines are expensive, space consuming and heavy. The workout itself proves to be boring and unrewarding, as the astronauts have to repeat a movement over and over.
Our solution is STEVE (Suit Technology for Excise with VR Experience) – a smart suit that provides the user with exercise based on motion resistance. It is composed of membranes filled with a special type of gel, the viscosity of which can be controlled with electricity. In order to move, the user has to strain more, which provides great exercise with adjustable difficulty and even a possibility to focus on different regions of the body with workout intensity variation.
We are witnessing the explosion of VR technology, and STEVE suit could also be equipped with a VR device, with motion sensors and controls placed over the body to allow gameplay and remote control. This not only makes the workout more fun and diverse, but could also contribute toward communication and even have positive a psychological effect on the astronauts. Now, they are cut off from Earth with communication available only in form of radio and video. With the VR upgrade, the astronauts could chat with people on Earth as if in person, making them feel closer connected with their team and loved ones at home. The frequent virtual transportation into an environment with gravity could also help them recover getting used to gravity after their return from a 0-G environment.
We are sure our smart suit can help astronauts keep muscle and bone mass during life in space, but the use does not have to stop there. STEVE suit could also be used on Earth in physiotherapy, helping patients recover from injury, in sports for a more efficient and specific muscle group based workout, and in gaming for a more realistic experience of the virtual environment with the added effect of exercise while having fun.
Our team consists of a chemist, economist, electrical engineer, physicist, mechanical engineer and a microbiologist, and in our diversity, we were be able to develop the idea of the STEVE suit. Our diverse composition allows us to view problems from various viewpoints and arrive at the best solution.
We want you to remember STEVE, the smart suit that makes exercise an experience.