Project MARCH is a student team, a so-called Dream Team, of the Technical University Delft. Every year a group of 28 enthusiastic and motivated students put their study on hold for a year to fully commit themselves on designing, developing, and building an exoskeleton. An exoskeleton is a robotic motorised suit that enables someone with a complete spinal cord injury, who is wheelchair-bound, to stand up and walk again. We design this year’s exoskeleton together with our 29th and most important team member: our pilot Koen van Zeeland. Koen has a complete spinal cord injury and has been working with Project MARCH for 3 years now.
The vision of Project MARCH is that technology can improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. We want to accomplish this by designing a better exoskeleton each year. Last few years Project MARCH focused on dynamic walking, which means that the exoskeleton is more adaptable to daily life. The exoskeleton is now able to see its surrounding and react to it by stepping on the right spots and giving suggestions to the pilot. This year we are the eighth team, and we want to focus on balance. The last few years crutches were used by our pilot to balance himself or herself in the exoskeleton. This year’s goal is to not use the crutches anymore. This means the user of our exoskeleton has his hands free which makes the use of the exoskeleton more user friendly.