Ekso Bionics, makers of powered exoskeleton technology for medical and manufacturing industries, have added a patented “gravity balancing arm” technology that lets wearers lift heavy objects without strain.
The gravity balancing arm technology was developed by Equipois and acquired by Ekso in an all-stock strategic acquisition. It includes the zero G lifter and the X-Ar arm support exoskeleton.
The zero G arm is free-standing and entirely mechanical, and therefore does not require a power source. Depending on the model, it can support from 8 to 36 pounds. The X-Ar exoskeleton requires docking on a table, bears the weight of the operator’s arm, and is also entirely mechanical. Garrett Brown, the inventor of this technology, also created the Steadicam camera stabilizer.
“It’s exciting to see our technology go from helping people shoot movies to making peoples’ lives better on the job site by helping to reduce fatigue, protect from injuries and increase productivity,” said Brown. “It’s wonderful to see Ekso Bionics bringing their exoskeleton technology into the industrial construction market for able-bodied workers, much as they’ve already done for patients in medical rehabilitation. I’m excited to be a part of this new success.”
With this, Ekso Bionics hopes to expand its exoskeleton business further into the industrial market. Ekso bionics will continue to supply and resell Equipois products to their customer base of about 600 units. Meanwhile, Ekso will also explore expanding the technology into designs appropriate for human augmentation in the field of industrial construction.
“Our ongoing field trials throughout this past year have clearly shown that now is the time to bring our exoskeleton technology to the industrial construction market. Companies are ready for exoskeletons, and their workers are eager to use them,” said Russ Angold, president of Ekso Labs and co-founder of Ekso Bionics. “Adding the Equipois product portfolio provides us with core technology to meet customer demand and immediately expands our customer reach from construction to industrial and manufacturing end-users as well.”
Filed Under: Industrial automation