New Exoskeleton Vests Makes Repetitive Tasks and Overhead Work a Breeze
Ekso Bionics has been making exoskeletons since 2005. Originally designed with the military in mind, but then later shifted to physical therapy. In more recent years, they have begun targeting more physical professions, especially those with repetitive tasks or a lot of lifting. One of their most recent products is called the EksoVest.
The EksoVest is an upperbody vest designed to elevate and support a worker’s arms for tasks at chest heights and above. Through the use of springs, it provides up to 15 pounds of lift assistance per arm. That’s enough to make most power tools feel like nothing.
One of the best parts about the system is that it’s all mechanical, so it doesn’t need a power source to operate. Just strap in on and go to work. Weighing in at only 9.5 pounds, it should light enough to wear comfortable all day.
There are so many construction applications that this technology seems like a real win, including overhead drilling, grinding, chipping, running conduit, refrigeration and plumbing lines, and even just lifting.
Currently, UK contractor Willmott Dixon is trialing the EksoVest on a new school development in Cardiff, Wales. According to Willmott Dixon, they are the first company in the industry to trial the new tech. According to the article linked above, the vest costs about 5,650 Pound, which is over $7,000 US.
The Ford Motor Company is also partnering with Ekso Bionics to test the vest in their manufacturing plants. The original test included two US plants and the company plans to expand the use of the vest to other regions, including Europe and South America.
Check out this video of how the vest would work on a construction site: