Space Systems Lab
University of Maryland
Morphing Upper Torso
The University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory and ILC Dover LP have developed a novel concept: a soft pressure garment that can be dynamically reconfigured to tailor its shape properties to the wearer and the desired task set. This underlying concept has been applied to the upper torso of a rear entry suit, in which the helmet ring, waist ring and two shoulder rings make up a system of four interconnected parallel manipulators with tensile links. This configuration allows the dynamic control of both the position and orientation of each of the four rings, enabling modification of critical sizing dimensions such as the inter-scye distance, as well as task-specific orientations such as helmet, scye and waist bearing angles.
The Morphing Upper Torso is under development at the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory, part of the Aerospace Engineering Department and the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Thanks to Jeff Braden who started this project with Shane and Dave in 2005. Also thanks to Dave Graziosi and his team at ILC Dover for initially funding this project, providing the full scale model, and for their advice and support. As well a special thanks to undergraduate students Ali Husain and Adam Mirvis.