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Exoskeleton Developed for Physical Labor

Thursday, May 24, 2018

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Without using computers, batteries or actuators, suitX (Berkeley, California) industrial exoskeletons reportedly reduce the risk of injury from lifting and similar physical labor.

Available as individual pieces backX, legX and shoulderX, the exoskeleton can be assembled for full-body support that reduces the muscle force required to complete tasks by as much as 60 percent, according to the manufacturer.

Industrial Exoskeleton

Individually, backX can be put on and taken off in 30 seconds, and can be integrated with standard safety harnesses and tool belts. When worn, the piece reportedly reduces the torque on a wearer’s lower back by an average of 60 percent. The Model S version is compatible with legX and weighs 4.9 pounds; Model AC is compatible with legX and shoulderX. The latter model is load-bearing. If legX is attached, it transfers the weight of attached loads directly to the hips or ground.

LegX reduces knee joint and quadriceps muscle forces, the company says, allowing the user to squat repeatedly or for long durations. The system is also capable of determining the difference between walking and squatting in order to provide support only when necessary. A locking feature allows the system to be used like a chair.

ShoulderX allows the wearer to perform chest-level-and-above tasks for longer periods of time. This part of the exoskeleton balances the weight of the user’s arm and the tool being used along the body’s entire range of motion, and can be adjusted for different levels of support.

All three combined are known as the MAX exoskeleton. BackX and shoulderX cost $4,000 each, with legX costing $6,000.

For more information, visit suitx.com.


Tagged categories: Health and safety; Labor; Robotics

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