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Logan High School exoskeleton

Logan High School students building exoskeleton

The Project Lead the Way Digital Electronics class at La Crosse Logan High School is partnering with Industrial Automation, Motion Industries, Inc., Schaeffler Group USA, Inc. and Trane of La Crosse to design and build a Repetitive Work Exo Arm.

Exoskeletons contain rigid and resistant components that fulfill a set of functional roles including protection, support, and as an assistive technology to improve the quality of life. They are fabricated out of steel or aluminum and move with the use of actuators or servo motors. A microcontroller is separately programmed dependent on the function of the exoskeleton.

“Working with our business partners to create high level engineering projects of this nature generates a more authentic learning experience for our students,” said Logan High School Technology and Engineering teacher Steve Johnston.

The students will focus on designing, programming, and fabricating an Exo Arm with the following targeted goals – create an authentic engineering learning experience, design and fabricate an Exo Arm for a repetitive work related job (grinding) in manufacturing, and with the completed arm be able to relieve the tension and lifting forces that a worker experiences with a grinding operation.

“The project is incredibly interesting because of the practical application of our work,” said Logan High School junior Ben LeDocq. “Everyone in this class is here to learn something, whether that be electronics, engineering, or math and this is a real life use of the skills we are learning. If we do continue into careers in these fields, what we are doing now with this project will help us see what the process is, because it’s very different to sit in a classroom and learn about something compared to actually doing it.”

The Exo Arm will be designed and fabricated at Logan High School in the Technology and Engineering Department. Industrial Automation, Motion Industries, Inc., Schaeffler Group USA, Inc., and Trane will provide technical support and help define the parameters of the project.

In recent years, the Project Lead the Way Digital Electronics class has worked on projects to build remote-operated underwater and aerial vehicles, as well as a self-driving car.

The project’s targeted completion date is the summer of 2017.