Harvard Biodesign Lab
09/2019 – 10/2020
Harvard Biodesign Lab designs and fabrication wearable robots to assist disabled and non-disabled people. While my time at Harvard I worked as an electrical engineering research fellow, where I designed different electronic systems used to operate different soft robotics projects.
Soft Robotic Glove
People with neurological conditions, like those caused by a stroke or spinal cord injury, experience loss of motor function in one or both hands. The Soft Robotic Glove provides assistive neuromuscular rehabilitation through its inflatable chambers, which gently bend and straighten the fingers to facilitate stretches and repetitive exercises necessary for restoring lost hand function.
In preparation for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM), I designed and assembled a PCB to assist with the Soft Robotic Glove's inflation and deflation. This board's creation included boost converts to power 3-way valves and optically isolated relays to turn on/off 4-way valves via a Beaglebone connector.
The Soft Robotic Glove is currently being used for clinical studies. To prepare for these studies, a more robust and advanced PCB was designed and created. This board was designed as a Beaglebone cape for soft robotics control of solenoid valves and pumps. The creation of this board required: power management calculations, testing documents to ensure the robustness of the PCB, proper trace width calculations (handle proper amounts of current), design and selection of buck and boost converters through calculations, and differential traces for the CAN signal. Protection features were also implemented: ESD protection for the I2C, CAN, and SPI, Reverse polarity protection to ensures that the device is not damaged if the power supply polarity is reversed, Flyback diodes to handle sudden voltage spike seen across an inductive load, and Beaglebone pin protection from latch chip I/O pins before fully powered up.
Check out the video of me assembling one of the older PCB versions shown below!