New Exoskeleton Could Help Framers Lift More, Longer

Originally published by: Builder OnlineApril 28, 2015

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The strain of lifting heavy tools and machinery for long periods of time can be tough on construction workers' bodies, but a new exoskeleton from Esko Bionics could help relieve some of the physical demands of the heavy labor. The company, which got its start designing advanced suits for the military, has recently introduced a new prototype for heavy industry applications. 

The Esko Works Industrial Exoskeleton is engineered to help users lift heavy tools without feeling their weight, writes Wired's Adam Rogers, who took the new suit for test run. The 16-pound suit can be adjusted for heights from 5'4" to 6'4", and unlike the futuristic exosuits we may imagine, Esko's frame uses no electronics or batteries, Rogers explains.

It’s unpowered, relying instead on counterweights and a standard, sprung arm used on image-stabilizing steadicams. The trick is the carbon fiber harness and metal-tube frame running down a user’s legs. It translates the weight of whatever’s on the end of the arm down through the suit and into the ground.

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