A constant-force resistive exercise unit (CFREU) has been invented for use in both normal gravitational and microgravitational environments. In comparison with a typical conventional exercise machine, this CFREU weighs less and is less bulky: Whereas weight plates and associated bulky supporting structures are used to generate resistive forces in typical conventional exercise machines, they are not used in this CFREU. Instead, resistive forces are generated in this CFREU by relatively compact, lightweight mechanisms based on constant-torque springs wound on drums. Each such mechanism is contained in a module, denoted a resistive pack, that includes a shaft for making a torque connection to a cable drum. During a stroke of resistive exercise, the cable is withdrawn from the cable drum against the torque exerted by the resistance pack.

The CFREU includes a housing, within which can be mounted one or more resistive pack(s). The CFREU also includes mechanisms for engaging any combination of (1) one or more resistive pack(s) and (2) one or more spring(s) within each resistive pack to obtain a desired level of resistance.

This work was done by Paul Colosky and Tara Ruttley of Valeo Human Systems, Inc., for Johnson Space Center.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Valeo Human Systems, Inc.
3350 Eastbrook Dr., Ste. 109
Fort Collins, CO 80525

Refer to MSC-23373-1, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.