Project March Blog - Femto Engineering - Femto Engineering

Project March Blog

Project MARCH is a multidisciplinary team of 28 students. The project aims to improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries.

To achieve this, the students design and produce an exoskeleton each year. This year, the team faces a major challenge: participation in CYBATHLON 2024, the largest bionic competition in the world. During this competition, Project MARCH will compete with their exoskeleton against companies and university teams from around the world. But how do you create an exoskeleton that is strong enough, not too heavy, and can be produced by the student team, while also taking into account the obstacles that must be overcome at the Cybathlon? These were the questions confronted by the mechanical and software engineers of Project MARCH IX and which they had to answer. Femto Engineering is an expert in solving these kinds of challenges and thus perfect for supporting the engineers of Project MARCH.

The Cybathlon consists of eight disciplines of so-called ‘assistive technology’. Project MARCH participates in the exoskeleton race. This race comprises ten obstacles, all based on daily life activities that may feel very normal but can be challenging for people with a spinal cord injury who are in a wheelchair. The previous Cybathlon was held in each participant’s own country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A video of the exoskeleton race from 2020 can be found at the following link:








Femto supports Project MARCH in using two programs, namely Simcenter 3D and Simcenter Amesim. Simcenter 3D is used by the mechanical engineers for finite element analysis (FEA). With this finite element analysis, the stresses in the components of the exoskeleton are calculated to validate that these parts are strong enough. Based on this, material choices are made, for example. The overall exoskeleton is also analyzed in an assembly FEM. In this analysis, the entire exoskeleton is examined with various load cases, such as falling on one foot. Because it is important for the pilot of the exoskeleton during the Cybathlon to ensure that the exoskeleton is as easy to move in as possible, it is also crucial that the exoskeleton is as light as possible. By applying a finite element analysis to the frame of the exoskeleton, the shapes of frame components can be optimized for the loads they experience. As a result, with the help of Femto, Project MARCH has been able to halve the mass of the frame components in the legs!










Simcenter Amesim is used by the software engineers for accurately modeling the exoskeleton. Because we work with a pilot, who is the person with a spinal cord injury walking in the exoskeleton, there are many safety regulations we adhere to. The simulation of the exoskeleton ensures that the software engineers can test their software in a safe manner, and the pilot can later control the exoskeleton with confidence. Project MARCH is looking forward to a successful Cybathlon, where with the help of Femto, we will achieve our team goal by completing all ten obstacles!


March 11, 2024
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