With the evolution in the field of robotics, the role of precision machining in
manufacturing robotic components stands as a pivotal aspect. It deepens not
only the functionality of the exoskeleton robots but also the reliability of these
devices. The motion, strength, and functionality of the exoskeleton robot parts
are determined by their precision and accuracy.
The Exoskeleton robots consist of a range of parts such as skeletal structure,
joints, motors, sensors, and actuators. The structure consists of the rigid
framework of the robot used to amplify human movement. The movement of
the robot is ensured by the presence of actuators and motors which converts
electrical energy into mechanical energy. Different types of sensors are used
to provide feedback on every movement, outside environment, and internal
state of the robot.
Types of Materials Suitable for Medical Exoskeleton Parts
The material selection for exoskeleton parts in the field of medicine drives
their performance and usability. Different factors such as weight, type, and
durability of materials are considered while deciding on a material in
manufacturing robot components.
1. Lightweight and durable materials
Materials with qualities such as lightweight and durability are an ideal choice
for exoskeleton components. It imparts structural integrity in the components,
favoring materials with exceptional strength-to-weight ratio which in return
imparts robustness into it. In this regard, carbon fibers are an ideal choice as
they are lightweight and robust materials.
Their high tensile strength, stiffness, and corrosion resistance ability make
them distinct from other materials. They are mostly used in limb support or
critical structural elements such as joints. Despite the lightweight of these
composites, they impart high strength and durability to these components,
which becomes crucial in manufacturing robot components.
2. Biocompatible materials
Another important element for exoskeletons is titanium alloys. They are a
choice of designers due to their exceptional strength, durability, and
biocompatibility. As the integration of biomaterials in contact areas especially
the wearer’s body is required, the compatibility and minimal risk of titanium
alloys with the human body make them suitable for use as biomaterial. Other
essential materials used as biomaterials in exoskeletons are polymers such
as medical-grade silicon or some types of thermoplastics, which also offer
compatibility with human skin this way minimizes the risk of allergies.
3. Flexible and ergonomic materials
To accommodate different body movements of the robot, materials are chosen
that exhibit flexibility and have ergonomic qualities. Elastic polymers and
composite materials are examples of materials engineered with elasticity and
resilience. This enables natural and comfortable movements in the joints while
maintaining their structural integrity during the manufacturing of robot
Design Considerations For Robotic Exoskeletons
In the design of the exoskeleton parts for the robots, biomechanical
compatibility, customizability, ease, and other such factors are considered with
results in strict tolerance and precision. One of the most important aspects of
this involves manufacturing an exoskeleton that is compatible with natural
human movements, thus avoiding any undue weariness, discomfort, or
limitations. This is accomplished by ensuring precise synchronization with a
person's movement patterns which is a key element in the design process.
A high degree of customizability is necessary in an exoskeleton's components
to accommodate varying medical conditions and the diverse anatomical
variations among users. The design should be adaptive, with flexibility that
can integrate seamlessly with different body shapes and sizes to ensure
The pivotal role that ergonomic design aspects play extends beyond mere
functionality. Deliberately crafted by engineers and designers, the
exoskeleton's structure and joints aid in facilitating fluid, ergonomic
movements while simultaneously providing support and stability to the wearer.
Ensuring a delicate balance between flexibility and stability is foremost to
guarantee the utmost comfort and effectiveness during usage. Consequently,
intuitive mechanisms and user-friendly adjustment controls prove to be of
utmost importance, ultimately amplifying the ease of use for both healthcare
professionals managing the device and the individual donning it.
Innovative devices known as robotic exoskeletons require intricate
comprehension of human kinetics, biomechanics, and physiology to achieve a
flawless combination of utility, ease, and adjustability. As a result, designers
must meticulously incorporate these aspects into their creations. This intricate
balance not only augments the performance of the exoskeleton but also
enhances the overall experience for the user, marking a significant stride in
the realm of medical robotics and rehabilitation technology.
Machining Methods for Medical Exoskeleton Parts
In the context of manufacturing components for medical exoskeletons,
machining techniques are instrumental in providing the precision, tolerances,
and customization required by these devices. CNC machining is a key
technique that delivers matchless precision and flexibility in shaping complex
components. Engineers can machine complicated geometries from different
materials using CNC milling, turning, or grinding thus complying with strict
Additive manufacturing methods such as 3D printing also play a significant
role in enabling the creation of complex parts layer-by-layer as they are
designed. This method is characterized by quick prototyping capability and
makes it possible to design in intricate details which cannot be done through
Moreover, EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) can also be used for making
parts that have high precision and complex detailing especially in hard
materials or compound shapes. Particularly, wire EDM ensures the accurate
cutting of conductive materials giving rise to complicated fine elements of the
For machined items to be functional and aesthetically pleasing, surface quality
is essential. Strict quality control procedures are necessary during the
machining process to ensure the dependability and integrity of these crucial
parts. A careful balance between accuracy, material selection, and design
considerations is required when machining parts for exoskeleton robots. By
paying close attention to these complex elements, dependable, useful, and
user-centered components that are essential to the success of these
innovative assistive devices are produced.
Challenges of custom medical exoskeletons
The use of medical exoskeletons for augmentation and rehabilitation is
becoming more popular. These consist of exoskeletons for the lower and
upper extremities, respectively. Most of the pieces that make up the two
exoskeleton robots that are manufactured are machined. The customization in
robotic components can be traced down to the fabrication of an exoskeleton
for upper limb rehabilitation elements.
One important, immovable component of an electric motor is the stator mount.
When an AC is fed through it, a spinning magnetic field is produced. The rotor
rotates when voltage is added because of this generated magnetic field. In
this instance, the stator mount is made of AL6061-T6, a material with strong
mechanical qualities and low weight.
Because the stator relates to other exoskeleton pieces, precision is crucial
throughout the manufacturing process. The same is the case with the
manufacturing robot components involving the stator motors where multi-axis
milling machines such as 3, 4, and 5 axes machines are used.
For increasing the visible attractiveness of the exoskeleton parts, attractive
and corrosion-resistant, post-treatment is required. The best course of action
in this instance for the aluminum exoskeleton pieces is sandblasting followed
by anodizing. As a result, we first clean every aluminum component before
sandblasting and anodizing.
Sandblasting, on the one hand, gives the machined exoskeleton pieces a
matte surface with a consistent roughness while concealing machining tool
tracks and step markings. Conversely, anodizing strengthens the aluminum's
ability to withstand corrosion, produces a hard, scratch-resistant surface, and
improves the exoskeleton’s look.
Innovation in material selection coupled with high-precision machining
methods has greatly advanced the field of medical exoskeletons and
manufacturing robot components. Along with making these devices more
comfortable and functional, this synergy has created opportunities for
customized and flexible healthcare solutions.
Future developments in technology might lead to even more advanced and
well-integrated medical exoskeletons, which would benefit people with a
variety of medical needs by enhancing mobility and providing support.