Workers in the manufacturing and construction industries are at high risk for injuries compared to workers in most other fields. Repetitive strain injuries and workplace injuries due to fatigue are just a few of the possibilities. Beyond the inherent pain and stress that job site injuries cause, not to mention the medical expenses, there are also issues of lost productivity and lowered morale to consider. Naturally, supervisors and workers at an industrial site want to prevent as many injuries as possible. Ekso Bionics believes that all workplace injuries are preventable, and their wearable exoskeletons can help.
While exoskeletons are known in pop culture thanks to their appearances in Sci-Fi and other media, their ability-enhancing uses are, in fact, a reality. They won’t give you the near-superpower capabilities of Iron Man, but they can improve physical capabilities beyond what the human body is typically capable of. Ekso’s first wearable exoskeleton was known as HULC, and it was designed for military applications, allowing soldiers to carry heavy loads over long distances and with increased mobility. To this day, Ekso assists with military exoskeletons used by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Their wearable robots are also used for rehabilitation purposes to help patients with incomplete SCI, stroke patients, and people with neurological disorders to regain their walking ability.
More and more commonly, however, exosuits are being used in the construction industry to support wearer’s joints during heavy physical activity. Here are a couple of the industrial exo models and how they help users.