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Taking the Load off with Supportive Exoskeletons

Nov. 9, 2015
New exoskeletons aim to prevent injury in people who regularly perform heavy lifting.

StrongArm Technologies recently announced that they will be collaborating with 3M on their ErgoSkeleton product line. These ErgoSkeletons, which are ergonomically influenced exoskeletons, are devices that transfer and distribute heavy loads to optimal parts of the body for posture support and spine and back health. 

1. The V22 uses cables to transmit force over the shoulders. It fits like a backpack and is adjustable for height, and girth. The cables are adjustable for arm length.

For workers who lift heavy boxes or materials, the V22 ErgoSkeleton bolsters the worker’s torso and improves posture in various lifting positions to reduce the risk of injury. The device uses resistive cables to support the load directly. Connected to the finger tips during lifting, the cables transfer and support loads directly from the hands to the upper shoulders, reducing the weight on the arms, legs, and back, by 50 to 75%.

The V22 features lower back/lumbar support and padding, a transmission column to maintain spinal posture and load support, as well as additional posture pads on the neck/ shoulder area. 

2. The FLx prevents the user from entering the danger zone.

The other product from the ErgoSkeleton line is the FLx, which, targets active workers that are performing various tasks with heavy objects. It promotes safe back posture for a range of positions and corrects motions that are deemed unsafe by OSHA. When a person reaches an unsafe position, the vest helps to adjust the worker’s body so that they can reach the ‘safe zone’. Pads support the spine during lifting and shoulder supports activate to prevent a person from over-rotating and reaching into a danger zone. The vest also aims to develop muscle memory to teach workers how to avoid dangerous positions or movements when doing work without the support of the vest. 

The ErgoHug provides a safe alternative to the hug lift.

StrongArm’s last product is the ErgoHug, which is designed to prevent back pain in caretakers who regularly lift patients out of the seated position. The ErgoHug is worn by the patient to distribute the lifting force on their lower back for safe progression upward. It supports the person’s lumbar as the caretaker pulls them up from their chair. The caretaker grabs two handles in front of the patient, and the patient also holds a pair of handles to promote interactive lifting. The device replaces the traditional hug lift that can be harmful to the caretaker’s back and body, reducing compressive loading on the caretaker’s spine by 80% and increasing the upper body capability by 92%.

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