Exoskeleton Suit Could Change Construction Industry

Seemingly taken right off the screen from a sci-fi movie, a new technology aims to enhance the physical strength of people, which could be a huge boon to the construction industry.
The field of construction involves a lot of heavy lifting, usually using tools and machines. This newly released product from Ekso Bionics – a mechanical exoskeleton designed to be worn by a person – allows the wearer to lift heavy objects without breaking a sweat. This wearable machine is called Ekso Works, and is based on the same technology used in bionic suits to assist people who cannot stand or walk on their own.

According to product testing by Ars Technica, the gadget is designed with shoe platforms for both feet, flexible metal brackets that run up to the waist via velcro straps, and a huge swing arm extension at the right side. The piece is secured by counterweights placed in a backpack to support the wearer when lifting heavy stuff. What’s surprising is that the piece is completely mechanical: no batteries or any form of power supply.

Ekso Works won’t be available until 2016, when it is estimated to have a price tag of $12,000. Despite the hefty price, company co-founder and CFO Russ Angold is confident that its breakthrough product will not only give them profit leverage, but also help to reshape the construction industry into a more modern field.

“This market is huge. Just from these early targeted applications, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of skilled trade workers that could use this technology today,” Angold said in a news release.

The Berkeley-based company believes that the time has come for this technological revolution to enter the mainstream. The company was established in 2005, and since then, it has created products that help people improve their mobility.

“We are committed to applying the latest technology and engineering to help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable,” the company said in its website.