Tough Job? This Startup Is Building Exoskeletons For The Workplace

Fast Co Design

Ergonomic design for office workers has been around for decades. These exoskeletal devices aim to bring the idea to industrial workers.

For construction workers and other kinds of industrial employees, the body is one of the most important—and most vulnerable—tools you have. According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, overexertion is the leading cause of injury among workers and costs employers more than $15 billion in compensation.

That's where the MAX, or the "modular agile exoskeleton," comes in. It's a series of three braces—called the backX, the legX, and the shoulderX—that use steel and aluminum supports to redistribute load from the user's muscles and joints, reducing injury and increasing comfort. The devices were engineered and designed by suitX, a government-, industry-, and VC-funded startup, in collaboration with UC Berkeley. Earlier this year, suitX released the PhoeniX exoskeleton, which helps those with mobile disability disorders to walk, and was an Innovation by Design finalist based on the device. Read more.