Hold your arms at or above shoulder height for a few hours without rest. Now do this for a quarter to one half of your waking life, perhaps for the rest of your life, just to pay the bills. Now imagine you could hire a helping hand…one that would support you above the elbow when you needed it, and only when you needed it, as well as provide you with a system of cartridges, cables, pulleys, and a rigid spine designed to remove the load from your body and eliminate the physical strain and stress being placed on it each day. It may sound like a large, cumbersome device, but it actually has a very low profile and allows for full range of motion and an unobstructed work space.
Joseph Zawaideh and Mark Doyle are co-founders of Levitate, the company that’s bringing this product to the market. They refer to it as an upper body wearable exoskeleton, and it’s changing the game for a lot of people, including assembly workers, painters, construction workers, and maintenance operators. It was initially designed to support surgeons during long and taxing laparoscopic surgeries, but the product quickly caught the eye of a number of big name manufacturers.
In a study conducted by Toyota, the Levitate exoskeleton was shown to reduce muscle exertion by 20-30 percent. Wondering how exactly it works? Zawaideh joins the podcast to discuss all the technical details and more.