Faber exoskeleton I

Global Nominee

Faber exoskeleton I received a Global Nomination.


Have you ever wanted a rocket pack to soar amongst the sky? Now you can … on Mars… Gravity is less, atmospheric density is less, and the vistas are breathtaking. So come to Mars...

Buck Rogers aside, Mars is an interesting environment for out-of-this-world mobility options for an explorer. This challenge asks for the definition of a conceptual mobility solution to allow an astronaut to easily and rapidly explore Mars including overcoming obstacles such as cliffs, ravines and other difficult terrain. The solution should be person-portable and any means or source of propulsion be locally produced.

This challenge can be answered by:

  • producing an app to simulate your adventures in building your jet pack and flying around Mars;
  • produce an app that provides the local gravity, atmospheric conditions (density, weather, anything-else-of-interest) to help decide what is needed for your jet pack design;
  • perform a feasibility/conceptual study of an actual jet pack design that could use potential Mars fuel sources; or Design and Demonstrate a model scale jet pack using hardware.

Faber exoskeleton I is an innovative solution that helps explorers to have better mobility on Mars so that they can manipulate and avoid obstacles on the planet safely and appropriately.

Project features

-Mobility: The suit must have a smooth and precise movement but also increase the mechanical capabilities of the user without It could be an additional weight, capabilities that allows them to avoid obstacles and reduce the workload.

-Easy to use:The vehicle will must be easy to access and exit for the user in case of a system failure or an emergency, the user must be able to remove or put on the suit quickly.

-Measuring:The user have a Unit Information Display where he will observe data such as temperature, air composition, pressure and humidity, so he could get an idea of the condition of the suit and its surroundings in order to take good decisions supported on that information. In addition, the UDI will have a monitoring system which it will be on the ship in order to increase user´s safety.

-Storage:The explorer must have a charging unit that It can simplify the transport of measuring instruments, life support systems and other mission-related elements.

With the mechanical advantages that the suit provides it gives them the possibilities of taking more equipment, from life support systems and extra batteries to extend the length of the mission requirements to conduct scientific experiments and tools to facilitate the various missions carried out on the planet's surface.

The suit would be portable and must be independent of the base, so you need to have a battery system. If you have to perform long-range missions, you must have a vehicle to carry astronauts and the exoskeletons to the required places; once They are in the target area, astronauts will get into their suits in order to make their EVA activities, while the mission is done, the vehicle will capture solar energy so it could be used as a charging station if the exoskeletons have to be used for a long time.

Besides the mechanical support, we developed a device called IDU, the information display unit (IDU) shows useful information to get information about conditions inside the suit, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, air composition, etc. If sensors detect dangerous ranges for humans, an alarm will be activated and It will alert the operator to take immediate action.

Currently we develop a prototype of the IDU, which is designed as a bracelet, using an Arduino Mega board and sensors (Insert plates of the sensors); information of interest display on an LCD screen placed in the bracelet, it also has buttons to control the screen. The bracelet is powered by a battery of 9V and It was manufactured by using an acrylic structure and It is set by using a velcro tape.

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For the exoskeleton, it was developed an electromechanical orthotic of two degrees of scale, which has a flashlight to provide lighting in low-light situations. The orthosis corresponds to the left arm of the user. For the movement of the robotic arm resistive sensors were placed on the elbow and hand, for the elbow a potentiometer was used and bending sensor for the hand, the information will be used to manipulate a servo found in the elbow joint and the effector, which is a clamp on the end of the apparatus, which is used depending on the mission. After obtaining information from the joints it is passed to the controller that was implemented in the Arduino MEGA so that the controller determines how the position changes in the two servos, the joint and the clamp, and by monitoring the actions of the individual arm. The orthosis was manufactured in acrylic and is powered by a 3-cell LiPo battery.

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IMG_6830.JPGCaptura de pantalla 2016-04-29 a la(s) 18.44.58.png

Long-term goals

-Implement orthosis corresponding to the rest of the individual’s extremities and a main structure capable of act as a full exoskeleton .

- Create a suit with sensors which will be able to obtain information about the user's status, position of the joints, biometric and environment data, such as topographic scanners or monitoring cameras.

-Space qualification tests will be conducted in the Unit of High Technology - Queretaro at Engineering Faculty from UNAM.

-Implement both devices with their respective microcontrollers, with a control card designed specifically for the tasks, since the Arduino board does not have the necessary resources, so the controllers work with greater efficiency.

-Design a power system for the suit to be able to act with the greatest efficiency.

Resources Used

-Wiley J. Larson and James R. Wertz. (2005). Space Mission Analysis and Design. United States of American: Space Technology Library.

-Mark Davies in chief. (2003). The Standard Handbook for Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineers. United States of America: The Magraw-Hill Companies, Inc.




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