Popovic, Marko B.
Tearing of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is one of the most common injuries for baseball pitchers. During a pitch, the UCL experiences high levels of stress between the cocking and acceleration phase. Because this stress cannot be directly measured in vivo, a pitching robot with many biomimetic features was created to gain a better understanding of these forces. This robotic research platform was then used to design a brace that reduces the amount of stress the ligament undergoes, potentially prolonging the play time for athletes. The robotic arm featured seven independently, pneumatically actuated Hydro Muscles and a biomimetic UCL. When the brace was used on the robotic arm, the force on the artificial UCL decreased during the pitching phases which validated its effectiveness.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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