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Product Review: EksoVest Bionics EVO Exoskeleton Technology

EksoVest Bionics EVO Exoskeleton Technology

Healthcare | Jun, 2021

Robotics has a huge role to play in augmenting human capabilities and overcome physical limitations to improve the quality of life. Some of the design principles of robotics are being applied to the creation of exoskeletons that aim to enhance safety and assist in better pain management. Once used for the military, now the advanced versions of exoskeletons are being widely employed in manufacturing units, warehouses, and distribution units to increase the productivity of workers. The exoskeletons enable workers to be more physically active at work while preventing any shoulder and back pain. The wearable device is designed to transfer the weight of the user’s arms from the shoulder, neck, and upper body to the body’s core and thus helps to reduce physical stress as well as prevent orthopaedic injuries during operational tasks. In a way, the industrial exoskeleton replicates the structure of the operator’s limbs, joints, and muscles and uses a network of cables, pulleys, and springs to support body weight, assist with lifting loads, and amplify human capabilities. While many exoskeletons consist of power actuation and assistance, others might have non-traditional power solutions such as compressed air for enhanced flexibility. 

 

To meet the unique challenges of workers at factories and reduce the risk of preventable injuries while performing different kinds of intense activities, Ekso Bionics has developed the next generation of EksoVest, EVO. Spring-loaded and passive EVO is the world’s most durable assistive body exoskeleton vest, curated to alleviate the burden of repetitive work and reduce workers’ fatigue during and after work hours by supporting or enhancing strength and endurance. Built upon the company’s proprietary EksoVest technology, EVO transforms the way manufacturers and construction workers approach safety at the workplace. After accumulating the wealth of in-the-field customer insights and valuable feedback, the EksoVest technology was reimagined, advancements in design were made, and EVO was developed to overcome the shortcomings of the previous version. The new wearable device has been tested out for three years across the globe to determine its efficacy in practical conditions and deliver only the best quality. 

 

Less Burden, More Productivity

Ekso Bionics offers exoskeletons in a different range of sizes and trades to accommodate varying user’s needs and provide exceptional user experience to workers. The naturally tracking and assistive exoskeleton vest is lightweight and flexible than its predecessor, which makes the device user-friendly, convenient, and comfortable to wear for all-day use. With an optimized human-machine interface, EVO maintains ruggedness and durability to solve the most complicated ergonomic problems. The novel design of the new wearable device includes Ekso’s new patented low profile and multi-link structure to track the natural bodily movements, which allows limitless motions. Using EVO seems like a real win for application in industries, manufacturing units, construction activities, and food processing due to its high compatibility with standard safety harnesses utilized in various work environments. With 5-15 pounds of lift assistance, EVO drastically reduces the burden on skilled workers, alleviates neck, shoulder, and back strain, offering a versatile acquisition model capable of reducing capital barriers. EVO exoskeleton makes the task of lifting, overhead drilling, grinding, chipping, running conduit, refrigeration and plumbing lines feel like nothing as it supports worker’s arms for tasks at chest heights and above. 

 

Minimized Risk of Injuries

Working in the automotive factory for a ten-hour shift requires an operator to reach overhead thousands of times for performing work underneath the vehicles. As a result, over-exertion could lead to serious repercussions in joints, muscles, and bones. Providing 15 pounds of assistance every time the operator lifts his arm could help to relieve the shoulder of weight equal to 24 Mustang coupes, so it is safe to say that the wearable technology gives power without pain. EVO works perfectly fine for workers within a height range of 5 feet to 6-foot-4. Utilizing the device, the workers would become highly efficient and are less likely to suffer major injuries, which could be beneficial for the organizations to produce better outputs and amplify production capacity. Thus, a flexible and simple EVO exoskeleton can help to maximize return on investments.

 

User-friendly Design

The reduced bulkiness of the vest and customizable fit make the device extremely wearable on the waist and upper arm. Also, EVO allows an effortless motor functioning with reduced touchpoints which keeps workers cool as the machine does most of the heavy lifting. Leveraging valuable data collected throughout its development in the field, EVO facilitates stand positions and overhead work with minimum discomfort. 

 

Non-Invasive Way to Improve Mobility

EVO is the only exoskeleton that offers mobility with limited motor control to people with paralysis or spinal cord injuries and enables them to stand up and walk. The paraplegics can become mobile in a non-invasive way just by wearing the EVO exoskeleton under their clothes. Allowing movement in the paralyzed area, EVO helps to reduce muscle atrophy and improves blood circulation, which keeps the body fit and active. The best part of using the device is that it helps the paraplegics to become more independent for performing basic tasks, which provides a significant boost to their self-confidence.

 

Major Advancements in ExoSkeleton Market 

Laevo V2

Passive chest and back-support exoskeleton designed for workers engaged in bending and lifting activities reduce pressure on the user’s spine up to 40%. The device works by transferring force from the upper body through the straps and to the thighs, and thus make the operator’s tasks easier and comfortable. Laevo V2 is so lightweight that wearing the exoskeleton feels just like a coat since it adapts to the posture and provides wearers a lot of independence and ease of movement. 

 

Noonee Chairless Chair

Noonee Chairless Chair is a huge advantage for people who stand large of their day in the standing position, which puts immense pressure on the lower body as well as back. Wearing the Noonee lower-body exoskeleton, the worker can just lock in and sit in mid-air while working, which helps to create a more comfortable and productive workspace anytime. Recently, Noonee introduced Chairless Chair 2.0 with reduced weight and other accessories such as belts, seat pads, leg straps, shoe connectors, and vest for rendering more comfort and superior fit to the operator. 

 

Levitate AIRFRAME

The upper-body and custom-fit Levitate AIRFRAME exoskeleton is an ideal solution for workers who engage in static and repetitive arm movements regularly usually in construction, industrial or automotive workspace. Mechanically powered by a system of pulleys, the AIRFRAME can significantly prevent injuries in joints, bones, and muscles by lowering exertion levels and transferring weight from shoulders, neck, and upper backs to the outside of hips. 

 

Guardian XO

Developed by Sarcos Robotics, Guardian Xo is a sturdy and battery-powered exoskeleton that enables "light work of heavy-duty tasks". Enabling lifting of up to 200 pounds without limiting freedom of movement, the exoskeleton technology expands the user’s lifting capabilities by compensating for gravity and inertia. Guardian XO also consists of a hands-free mode that facilitates the operator to perform dexterous tasks with his hand even while carrying a heavy load. 

 

Conclusion 

Many legacy industries with an aging workforce still heavily rely on human input but overexertion and repetitive motion could lead to long-term musculoskeletal stress. EVO exoskeleton technology has the potential to reduce wear and tear in factory workers’ bodies as they continue to perform their daily tasks. The life-altering exoskeleton technology is the ultimate solution for overhead jobs as they make the job less tiring and improve the quality of life of workers. Rapid progress to transform laboratory-constrained exoskeletons is likely to expand the reach of the wearable technology from industries and clinics to more real-world venues, augmenting human walking and running during everyday life. 

 

According to TechSci research report on “Global Smart Exoskeleton Market By Component (Sensors; Actuators & Others), By Type (Soft Exoskeleton & Rigid Exoskeleton), By Body Part (Upper body; Lower body & Full body), By Application (Healthcare; Military & Others), By Region, Competition, Forecast & Opportunities, 2024”, global smart exoskeleton market is expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 38% by 2024. The growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for rehabilitation of people suffering from physical disorders as well as continuous innovation in exoskeleton technology to make it more user-friendly and efficient. Also, the rising adoption of exoskeleton in industries is a major contributing factor for the growth of global smart exoskeleton market during the forecast period.

According to another TechSci research report on “United States Smart Exoskeleton Market By Component (Sensors, Actuators, Power Source, Control System, Others) By Type (Soft Exoskeleton v/s Rigid Exoskeleton) By Product Type (Active v/s Passive) By Body Part (Upper body, Lower body, Full body) By Application (Healthcare, Military, Industrial, Others) By Company, By Region, Forecast & Opportunities, 2026”, United States smart exoskeleton market is projected to grow at a significant CAGR owing to rising number of geriatric population suffering from musculoskeletal injuries. Additionally, strong economic presence and well-developed healthcare infrastructure is boosting the growth of United States smart exoskeletal market. 

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