When Everyone’s Super…
Science Fiction needs an update. With many of its classic technologies becoming real products available for purchase, that “Fiction” tag at the end is looking less and less deserved by every passing day.
The latest and greatest development in an advancing line of new technologies is the SuitX line of strength-boosting exoskeletons meant to decrease the risks of injury involved in industrial labor. But while its official application may not be all too shiny, the device itself is still something worth gawking at.
SuitX is an up and coming startup company that looks to change the way humans look at easing physical labor. With the SuitX line, they’re looking to aid workers of industrial and construction jobs by decreasing the fatigue experienced through their workdays, which will greatly increase the upper limit of how productive they can be.
In addition, the strength-boosting capabilities of SuitX can also aid people with disabilities, low strength levels, or frail bones and muscles to a level where they are able to perform levels of work comparable with other workers. This could open up job opportunities in industrial labor to a large number of individuals who would have previously been denied such a position due to existing physical limitations.
So, how does it work? The full SuitX is compromised of three separate pieces: BackX, ShoulderX, and LegX. Each piece is designed to support a different part of the body, and employers are free to choose which portion of the suit they’re looking to invest in depending on the tasks a certain worker will be performing.
The BackX is designed to increase the amount of weight a user can carry by reducing the strain on a user’s lower back muscles. According to SuitX, the device accomplishes this while being comfortable and form-fitting, which makes it wearable over and under many different types of clothing and allows the user to perform other tasks, such as climbing stairs, without bumping into the device.
The ShoulderX focuses on a user’s upper body and arm lifts. Mechanisms in the suit increase aid as the user raises his or her arms, and the level of aid given can be adjusted based on the strength of the user. This assistance allows a user to both lift heavier objects and hold them in place with greater ease, as the assistance will dynamically transfer the weight to the strongest parts of a user’s body.
Finally, LegX enables workers to squat for extended periods of time by lessening the load on thigh muscles while a user’s legs are bent. This can allow construction or industry personell to stay in better positions for extended periods of time. It can also aid in lifts that start from a squat, but other pieces of the suit would be recommended to further assist in this process.
SuitX also allows a user to skip all the middling steps and MAX out. The MAX is their name for the full, connected suit that supports the wearer’s entire body. When multiple pieces of the suit are engaged at once, they can be connected to allow them to cooperate with each other on movement and lifting tasks: While the ShoulderX holds an arm up to lift an object, the BackX takes some of the load forces off of the user’s back and distributes them into the LegX, which helps the user push back up and out of the squatting position from where they first grabbed the item in question.
These devices look pretty cool, and offer a good range of features to interested employers looking to amp up user productivity. In addition to the range of included physical benefits, the emotional boost from getting to wear an exoskeleton on the job will surely boost worker morale, make jobs using exo’s more attractive, and encourage workers to put the suits to the test.
And while the SuitX doesn’t allow you to run at high speeds, jump ten feet into the air, or punch through brick walls, it shows that the sci-fi concept of a mecha-exosuit is more feasible than we might have thought.
We’re not quite at Iron Man levels yet, but by the looks of things, we’re getting pretty close.
Featured Image via the SuitX Official Website.