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Students Earn Second Place for ExoHand Design 

From left: Lauren Lagua, (Northrop Grumman team mentor), Ben Tanner, and Tuvia Rappaport
From left: Lauren Lagua, (Northrop Grumman team mentor), Ben Tanner, and Tuvia Rappaport

Aerospace engineering undergraduate students Tuvia Rappaport and Ben Tanner walked away with $1,000 each in scholarship winnings for their entry into the Northrop Grumman Dual Extruder Student Design Challenge.

Their design, called the ExoHand, won second place overall by demonstrating an intuitive 3D printed interface for controlling telerobotic end effectors. The project was originally conceived as a spinoff of both Rappaport's work on the MGA (Maryland-Georgetown Army) Exoskeleton to develop a custom-fit glove to improve user comfort, and Tanner’s work to characterize dual-material 3D printed parts.

The students were able to successfully combine these areas of expertise into the ExoHand, which features a flexible finger cuff with an embedded strain sensor made entirely as a single 3D printed component. As the wearer flexes and relaxes their finger, the materials experience a change in electrical resistance which is used to control a robotic gripper.

Led by faculty advisors Dr. Andrew Becnel and Dr. Craig Carignan, the team plans to enhance the ExoHand to recognize multiple poses beyond just open and close, and to apply the device to Northrop Grumman’s hazardous duty robotics platforms to deal with explosives ordinance disposal.

October 17, 2018


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