suitX, a robotics company out of University of California, Berkeley's Human Engineering Lab, launched an exoskeleton that can help people walk again earlier this year. Now, the company has officially launched another product: one that can prevent people from needing that exoskeleton in the first place. suitX's latest product is called MAX, or Modular Agile eXoskeleton, and it supports a person's body parts prone to getting injured while doing heavy physical work.
The modular suit is composed of three modules: one supports the back, another supports the shoulders, while the third one supports the legs. Businesses can buy each one separately, and workers can wear just one or any combination of the three. The company envisions it preventing injuries in people working in construction, airports, assembly lines, shipbuilding, warehouses, delivery services and factories. Researchers from UC Berkeley conducted a study to find out how effective the back module actually is, for instance, and found that it reduced muscle activity in the lower back by 60 percent.
While businesses are obviously MAX's main audience, you might find it interesting to know that the company says it's quite affordable. According to suitX founder, Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni:
"We have created responsive and affordable technologies to augment workers' strength while leaving the worker in control of the operation. MAX is designed to support workers during the repetitive tasks that most frequently cause injury. It's not only lifting 75 pounds that can hurt your back; it is also lifting 20 pounds repeatedly throughout the day that will lead to injury."