This Exoskeleton Could End Workplace Accidents

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 11:12AM
Technology
Gadgets
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 11:12AM
This Exoskeleton Could End Workplace Accidents
Image credit: EksoWorks, Ford

Exoskeleton technology has been advancing at a gratifyingly quick pace in the past few years—scientists are using CGI to craft better rigs, and hobbyists are cobbling together their own miniature mech arms in their garages. 

At the same time, Ford has introduced a new pilot program to test the use of the EksoVest, a non-powered vest that attaches to the worker's arms to help them deal with the physical strain of working on an assembly line.

Here's a video of the EksoVest in action:



According to Ford, the vest itself is very light—only 9.5 pounds—and can help lift about 5-15 pounds of extra weight.

That may not seem superhuman, but it's not super-strength that Ford is looking for—it's stamina.

Here's how Ford explains the technology behind the EksoVest:

Opening quote
The EksoVest is an upper-body exoskeleton that elevates and supports a worker's arms to assist them with tasks ranging from chest height to overhead. It is lightweight and low profile, making it comfortable to wear in all conditions while enabling freedom of motion...Workplaces experience fewer on-site injuries while tasks are completed faster and with higher quality results. Workers stay healthier and experience increased stamina. Companies gain greater productivity in factories and on construction sites.
Closing quote


The EksoVest isn't quite Ripley's Power Loader, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Between body-mounted exo-suits and forklifts, we're already halfway to construction mechs. Military units across the world are adopting exoskeleton tech, too—meaning that we're just a few years away from seeing the first giant mech battle.

Wait, that already happened last month.
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This Exoskeleton Could End Workplace Accidents
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