Annex A - Group Research Proposal

Group Project Proposal (Engineering)
Names: Shreyas, Sasank, Meng Tao and Minh
Class: S2-05
Group Reference: E

1.   Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:

[ ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research
e.g. Investigation of the antibacterial effect of chrysanthemum

[ ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)
e.g. Determination of the mass of Jupiter using planetary photography

[ ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)
e.g. Investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals

[ ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics
e.g. Modeling of the cooling curve of naphthalene

[ ] Observational and exploratory research
e.g. Investigation of the soil quality in School of Science and Technology, Singapore  

[    X     ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research
e.g. Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households

 Development of an exoskeleton for a single arm to support elbow rotation

2.    Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format:

A.    Problem being addressed
After people break their arms and their cast is removed, they spend thousands of dollars on physiotherapy but also this comes with the consequence of not being able to do normal work such as lifting things etc. Thus, we are building this exoskeleton to help with physiotherapy as an exoskeleton would let the patient/recovering person do . For those humeral long bone of the upper arm is known as the humerus. Small fractures of the forearm heal in about four weeks when immobilized in a cast. More severe forearm fractures may need to be repaired surgically, and then immobilized for up to 12 weeks.
Our project aim to lessen the suffering of these people with broken arms and help them move their arms without much pain to do basic activities.
(Up to six months of rehabilitation exercises can be necessary for muscle and strength to recover after forearm and humerus fractures.)
Relevant Anatomy for a Humeral Fracture

B.    Goals

We hope to enable people with weak arms who are undergoing  physiotherapy recover faster by helping them with regaining their movements. It will be able to do basic activities. It shall be lightweight due to the fact that it is going to be used for the whole day. This will make it more help the weak by making their weak arm to more useful activities.

Specify Requirements
Using a Servo to help ease the movement by a 1 is to 5 ratio ( 1° moved by user = 5°)(For now)

Alternate Solutions:
  1. Using a piston mechanism to operate the arm. (instead of servos)
  2. Using a button to operate and control the movement of the arm.
  3. Using the fingers to mechanically pull the arm back.

Final Choice (with reasons):
Our choice is to use a Servo because the Servo is the strongest.It is the most suitable for turning the arm to the requirements if provided with the correct programme.

Stages of construction.
Stage 1:
We saw the steel pole in half.
Stage 2:
Using hinges, attach the two steel poles together.
Stage 3:
Programme the code on the computer.
Stage 4:
The program to be applied on the arduino
Stage 5:
Attach the arduino to the servo with wires.
Stage 6:
Attach all electricals components to the arm and hinges, facilitating arm movement.
Stage 7:
Test the arm if it is able to do basic arm movements.
Stage 8:
Test the arm to carry an object and perform basic activities.

The Code for Arduino Uno:

 Use the "flex sensor" to change the position of a servo
 A flex sensor is a plastic strip with a conductive coating.
 When the strip is straight, the coating will be a certain
 resistance. When the strip is bent, the particles in the coating
 get further apart, increasing the resistance.

Hardware connections:
Flex sensor:
The flex sensor is the plastic strip with black stripes.It senses bending away from the striped side. The flex sensor has two pins, and since it's a resistor,the pins are interchangeable.

   Connect one of the pins to ANALOG IN pin 0 on the Arduino.
   Connect the same pin, through a 10K Ohm resistor (brown
   black orange) to GND.
   Connect the other pin to 5V.
   The servo has a cable attached to it with three wires.
   Because the cable ends in a socket, you can use jumper wires
   to connect between the Arduino and the servo. Just plug the
   jumper wires directly into the socket.
   Connect the RED wire (power) to 5 Volts (5V)
   Connect the WHITE wire (signal) to digital pin 9
   Connect the BLACK wire (ground) to ground (GND)
   Note that servos can use a lot of power, which can cause your
   Arduino to reset or behave erratically. If you're using large
   servos or many of them, it's best to provide them with their
   own separate 5V supply.


// Include the servo library to add servo-control functions:
#include <Servo.h>
// Create a servo "object", called servo1. Each servo object
// controls one servo (you can have a maximum of 12):

Servo servo1;

// Define the analog input pin to measure flex sensor position:

const int flexpin = 0;

void setup()
 // Enable control of a servo on pin 9:
void loop()
 int flexposition;    // Input value from the analog pin.
 int servoposition;   // Output value to the servo.

 // Read the position of the flex sensor (0 to 1023):
 flexposition = analogRead(flexpin);

 // of the 0-1023 range of analogRead(), we'll map() that range
 // to the servo's range of 0 to 180 degrees. The flex sensors
 // we use are usually in the 600-900 range:
 servoposition = map(flexposition, 690, 800, 0, 180);
 servoposition = constrain(servoposition, 0, 180);
 // Now we'll command the servo to move to that position:

 // Because every flex sensor has a slightly different resistance,
 // the 600-900 range may not exactly cover the flex sensor's
 // output. To help tune our program, we'll use the serial port to
 // print out our values to the serial monitor window:

 Serial.print("sensor: ");
 Serial.print("  servo: ");
 // After you upload the sketch, turn on the serial monitor
 // (the magnifying-glass icon to the right of the icon bar).
 // You'll be able to see the sensor values. Bend the flex sensor
 // and note its minimum and maximum values. If you replace the
 // 600 and 900 in the map() function above, you'll exactly match
 // the flex sensor's range with the servo's range.

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C.    Description in detail of method or procedures (The following are important and key items that should be included when formulating ANY AND ALL research plans.)

Equipment list:

Stainless steel
Will constituted the main body of the framework
1 m
Adjustable metal ring/velcro straps
Will hold the human arm in place.
Each of them is 50 cm
Will rotate the exo arm.

Will be programmed to control the motors.

Jumper wire (male & female)
≈ 20 - 30

each 20 cm
Band Saw/hand saw
Used to cut Stainless Steel

Used to cut steel
strong enough to cut steel ( )
9v Battery
Power source

9V Battery Adapter for the Arduino


Soldering iron

For the wires



#5 size (3.175mm)



#5 size (3.175mm)

Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection

1.We will first test whether it can correctly move.

2. We will test the powered exo arm by carrying specific weights to test the strength and reliability.

Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

  • We might get cut or injured while cutting metal.
  • We might get burnt while soldering material.
  • We will need adult supervision for activities like cutting metal, soldering, etc.

Adult supervision will be carried out when cutting material or soldering them.

Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses

We will test the powered exo arm by carrying specific weights to test the strength and reliability. The strength must be able to carry out basic activities like carrying items, etc.

D. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference. Choose the APA format and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan. List your entries in alphabetical order.

Balasubramanian, S., Harrington Dept. of Bioeng., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ, Ruihua Wei, Perez, M., Jiping He. (2008, August 25). RUPERT: An exoskeleton robot for assisting
Harvard University Mobility-Enhancing Soft Robotic Exosuit - Robotics Business Review. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2015, from

Hoffman, M. (2013, November 14). Students Design Titan Arm that Offers Super Human Strength. Retrieved January 22, 2015, from

LinYee Yuan. (2012, August 3). WREX,3D Printed "Magic Arms" and the Future of Prosthetics. Retrieved January 18, 2015, from

McGill, N., Parrotta, N., & Vladimirov, N. (2013, October 1). Titan Arm. Retrieved January 9, 2014, from

Not Impossible. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2015, from

Orthopaedic Trauma Association, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, & National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC). (2013, December 9). Arm Fracture Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options. Retrieved January 18, 2015, from (2014, May 19). Humeral Fracture. Retrieved January 18, 2015, from (Designer). (2014, May 19). Figure 1-Relevant Anatomy for a Humeral Fracture [Web Photo]. Retrieved from

Riener, R., Zurich Univ., Switzerland, & Nef, T. (2005, June 28). ARMin - design of a novel arm rehabilitation robot. Retrieved January 18, 2015, from

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