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Purdue students design "mechanically enhanced man"

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Kara Dailey of Crothersville, Ind., demonstrates a "mechanically enhanced man" or MEM, designed and built by a team of about 20 Purdue University students. Fellow student Kyle Zeller of Zionsville, Ind., looks on. The aluminum exoskeleton is about 6 and a half feet tall and would enable the average person to lift and move objects weighing 300 pounds. When completed, the machine's driver will use a joystick to move the arms and legs, which receive their strength from eight motors powered by two large batteries.

Dailey participated in a senior design course in which students created the machine under the supervision of mechanical engineer John Nolfi, manager of the university's Product Engineering and Realization Laboratory. The rigorous class is a so-called "capstone" courses that prepare students for jobs in corporate America. "The projects in these courses require you to be an engineer, as opposed to a student," Nolfi said.

(Purdue University News Service Photo by Dave Umberger)

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