The development of different exoskeleton type products has been on the uptick lately – and we’ve previously covered one of the larger products being developed. That one is a little impractical both due to cost and size – but the EksoVest Bionic Exoskeleton is a far less cumbersome venture with more practical application.
While most people will want to see some kind of body-encompassing suit that lets you jet off into space and beat up alien tyrants wearing golden gauntlets, the initial developments in this field are likely to be far more practical, and the EksoVest has engineering work and labour as its area of concern.
More specifically, safety and efficiency for all manner of manual labour activities that employees have to get through. In mining, manufacturing, and energy supply doing gruelling physical work is an everyday occurrence, and safety and fatigue will always play big roles keeping employees out of harm’s way.
The EksoVest effectively just straps to the wearer’s back, waist, and arms and provides an additional ±8kgs of lift assistance per arm. The effect might sound small, but with a machine able to shoulder that burden passively, it will mean that workers can handle the same tasks but with far less stress on their own bodies, and likely with far more consistency because they won’t suffer fatigue at the same rate.
Its applications in car manufacturing have already been tested at Ford and BMW plants, and has shown success in keeping blue collar workers safe as they navigate their days’ tasks.
It might still be a while before you walk into your local Makro and buy one for yourself, but the faster this kind of tech goes into the professional working sector, the faster we’re likely to see recreational civilian versions filtering into the general consumer market. You might not be able to fly to a neighbouring city with one of these, yet, but it’ll surely make a few DIY tasks like moving shelves and furniture a lot more pleasant!