Miniature Exercise Device (MED) - 09.17.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Miniature Exercise Device will demonstrate key motion system technology required to reduce the volume and weight of countermeasure equipment that will be needed for long term space flight.

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by B. Keith Todd, Gary Gutkowski, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)

  • B. Keith Todd, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
  • Gary Gutkowski, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
    Information Pending
    Information Pending
    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration

    Expeditions Assigned
    Information Pending

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Exercise is required by crewmembers during space flight to maintain health and to counter the debilitating effects of micro gravity. The current exercise equipment used in space is very bulky. Smaller exercise devices will free up room for other critical equipment for space flight.

    • The Miniature Exercise Device (MED) demonstrates the use of robotic technology to provide the motion and resistance needed in the device. The investigation shows that the actuator performs as predicted in the space station environment with the crewmember.

    • This technology leads to the next generations of exercise equipment that is an order of magnitude lighter and smaller than existing systems.

    The Miniature Exercise Device is a system to test key technologies needed to develop space based exercise equipment that will provide appropriate countermeasures to the adverse effects of microgravity. This technology is critical for the initial design and development of second and third generation Counter Measure Systems (CMS) hardware that is an order of magnitude lighter and smaller than existing ISS class of CMS hardware and that has significantly greater reliability.

    ISS and on board crew interaction is required for this DTO. Current counter measure devices behave differently in the microgravity environment than in ground test as seen in both the crew interaction and sensors in the systems. To effectively evaluate the technology, an extended microgravity environment with crew interaction is required. The MED is a one degree of freedom system using a robotic actuator to control the load experienced by the operation. The use of a robotic type actuator allows precise control of the load that can be varied over a variety of conditions including position and velocity of the actuator. This xDTO is designed to verify that the control of the actuator with a crew member in the microgravity environment in the loop. Various modes of the actuator will be assessed at various velocities. This may include constant load, progressive loads and non linear loads based on position and/or velocity of the actuator. The performance will be assess through data collected by instrumentation on the MED system as well as the perceptions of the crew member.

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    Space Applications
    Countermeasures systems are essential for crew to overcome muscle atrophy, bone loss, cardiovascular alterations, and neurovestibular disturbances during a long duration zero-g missions and are especially critical for exploration missions that will require the crew to be at optimum physical performance in order to conduct potentially physically demanding exploration tasks. This technology is applicable to Mars, NEA and ISS.

    Earth Applications
    Ground based exercise equipment using robotic actuator technology could lead to improvements in rehabilitation and physical therapy. Rehabilitator and physical therapist would have greater control over the “prescriptions” used in the exercises.

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    Operational Requirements
    The minimum requirement is to have one crew member operate the MED for 3 one hour sessions. Data from the system and crew comments on the operations will be downlink to the ground team for evaluation of the systems performance. The sessions should be spread at least 1 week apart to allow the ground team time to analyze the data and make adjustments to the control parameters and test protocols.

    Operational Protocols
    The crewmember will plug the MED into the ISS power source (TBD). Crewmember will select the loading profile on the interface device and articulate the system. Loads and other data will be recorded. The articulation will be repeated for various load profiles. The crewmember will downlink the recorded data along with any comments on MED operations. System will be disconnected from power until next use.

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    Results/More Information
    Information Pending

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    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites

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    image Miniature Exercise Device uses Robonaut 2 Actuator.
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