Ekso Bionics announces airier, more flexible Evo exoskeleton
A couple of years ago, we heard how Ford was supplying its assembly plant employees with an assistive exoskeleton called the EksoVest. Now, the maker of that device has unveiled a lighter and limberer but just as capable model.
Worn on the upper body, Ekso Bionics' original EksoVest was made to support the wearer's arms as they performed repetitive overhead tasks. It didn't utilize motors or anything else electrical to do so, instead using gas springs – these provided a user-adjustable 5 to 15 lb (2.3 to 6.8 kg) of lift support per arm.
The company's recently announced Evo Upper Body Exoskeleton offers that same amount of support, but features a new low-profile multi-link design that is claimed to make it lighter and more flexible … and thus also comfier.
Aimed at "eliminating work-related injuries to the neck, shoulder, and back," it reportedly allows for more freedom of movement while performing overhead tasks, or even when doing things like reaching into a back pocket.
At the same time, though, the Evo contacts the wearer's body at fewer points than the EksoVest, and covers over less of it – this leaves the user's back exposed, so they stay cooler. That said, it's still compatible with the standard third-party safety harnesses that are required for elevated work.
We're still waiting to hear back on the weight of the Evo, along with its pricing and availability. In the meantime, you can see it in use in the video below.
Source: Ekso Bionics