SuitX, a spin-off of the University of California, Berkeley, that makes exoskeletons for those with disabilities, has launched a trio of devices that use robotic technologies to enhance the abilities of able-bodied workers and prevent common workplace injuries.
The Modular Agile eXoskeleton, or MAX, consists of three components—backX, shoulderX, and legX—that lower the forces on different joints and muscles. They can be worn individually or together to help with lifting, carrying, squatting, and other repetitive manual tasks.
The MAX system is designed to provide a flexible exoskeleton solution that can be adapted for a variety of different workplace tasks. The result is a versatile system that can allow workers to complete shoulder, lower back, and leg intensive tasks with reduced injury risk while remaining comfortable enough to wear all day. MAX is composed of three exoskeleton modules: backX, shoulderX, and legX. Each module can be worn independently and in any combination depending on need. All modules intelligently engage when you need them, and don’t impede you otherwise. Ascending and descending stairs and ladders, driving, and biking are completely unimpeded.
Countless field evaluations conducted at construction, material handling, shipbuilding, foundry, and airport baggage handling sites in the US and Japan, as well as research in Berkeley led to the development of MAX modules. Extensive laboratory evaluations on MAX at the University of California indicate the MAX system reduces muscle force required to complete tasks by as much as 60 percent. MAX won two Saint Gobain Nova Innovation Awards for its intelligent design, effectiveness, affordability, outstanding ergonomic features and ease of use.
Designed for all-day wear, backX never impedes natural movements and the wearer can walk, ascend and descend stairs and ladders, drive automobiles, ride bicycles, run and perform any maneuver with absolutely no restriction.
ShoulderX supports 15 pounds per arm and shoulder
BackX reduces 30 lbs from back load
The shoulder, back and legs are where 90% of workplace injuries occur.
The Medical FDA approval should be in early 2018.
The workplace exosuit is available this month.
- Adjustable Support: Support capacity can be quickly changed to accommodate different users, tools, tasks, and fatigue level.
- Optimized Support: Support force gradually increases as the user lifts his arms and becomes near zero when the arms are lowered, allowing the user to rest arms naturally or reach for tools on their tool belt.
- Load Distribution: shoulderX transfers forces from the arms to the hips when worn alone, or to the ground when worn in conjunction with legX
- Adjustable Size: Fits range of worker height, waist size, shoulder width, chest depth, and arm length (5%-95% of human dimensions)
- Anthropometric Profile: Follows user’s body to fit in tight spaces and changing environments
- Lightweight: shoulderX weighs 10.6 lbs (4.8 kg) with one arm attached and 12.4 lbs (5.6 kg) with two arms attached
- No Batteries Required: Cleverly designed to reduce the risk of shoulder and arm injuries without the use of actuators and computers
- Rugged: Waterproof, dustproof, and easy to maintain
- Comfortable: Minimal inhibition of arm and torso range of motion. Designed for all-day wear
- Modular: One or two arm use, compatible with backX and legX.
- Compatible: Compatible with standard construction safety harnesses and tool belts, allowing workers normal equipment to retain functionality
- Quick Donning and Doffing: Less than 1 minute to put on or take off
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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