Research

Our idea initially required a large amount of research and development before we were able to move forward with developing a prototype. We worked out concept problems such as assembly, retraction, expansion, and containment. Other research topics include design, manufacturing, ergonomics, aesthetics, and more.


MARC is used to replicate the human muscle for robotic contraction in mechanical arms. This done is through turning electromagnets on and off with a flow of electricity.
The main application for our early version of the MARC are meant for work in robotic assembly lines or arms for construction. These tasks and goals are ones that are not meant to be used to a common consumer but by a professional that is well versed in using robotics contraptions and electronics. With that in mind a fair amount of ergonomics will still be necessary to make MARC a much simpler and safer machine.

That being said, any work can lead to hazards for employees. That is why safety is always a concern, especially with Work Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs). These are a group of painful disorders dealing with the muscles tendons and nerves. Some examples of of these diseases include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and tension neck syndrome. Repeated work and stress on certain muscles will cause these problems that could be permanent. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce work related discomfort and musculoskeletal disorders, and increase productivity and job satisfaction by adapting the job to fit the employee.


Work Practices and Safety with WMSD’s
The guiding principle in workplace design is to fit the workplace to the worker. Evaluation of the workplace can identify the source or sources of WMSD. Proper design of the equipment decrease the effort required of the worker to maintain and safe working position. Ideally the equipment should be fully adjustable, providing a worker with the options to work in a mobile dynamic positions as well as fitting any worker's body size and shape. A well designed job, supported by a well-designed workplace and proper tools allows the worker to avoid unnecessary motion of the neck, shoulder and upper limbs.

Training should be provided for workers who are involved in the task that include hazardous operation. Workers need to know how to adjust workstations to fit the tasks and their individual needs. Training should emphasize the importance of body control and teach how to take advantage of timing between tasks and relax the muscles and how to consciously control muscle tension throughout the whole process. Increased communications and support with an increased ability of the worker to control their job are work practices that improve workers satisfaction and have a positive impact on reducing the risk of WMSD’s.


Goal of Proper Ergonomics in Engineering
MARC is engineered by focusing on replicating human movement in a robotic electrical environment. These process allow for humans to not need to be apart of the actual usage of the machine. The goal of Ergonomics for MARC would take place in the building process. The way in which our group went about creating and engineering MARC to be manufactured is one that does not put a lot of strain on the user.

Each attachment and piece of MARC is one that can be molded together with basic tools to enable a more user friendly environment. As talked about in the work earlier all workers in their daily jobs must always be aware that their repetitive movements can cause WMSD’s. That is why it is suggested to take breaks while working with MARC in order to avoid such stresses.

Engineering with tools can put extra strain on the hands, therefore it was our goal to enable MARC to be created with as little need for such tools and approach a more hands on construction method. THis lead to a more efficient and safer way to decrease risk to the user and help keep WMSDs away.

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