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July 2018

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New Lightweight Exoskeleton



Some manufacturers are finding a new lightweight exoskeleton can help reduce worker fatigue, improve quality and precision and boost productivity. The product, the Airframe, is made by Levitate Technologies and includes engineered plastic components made by igus.

The Airframe is designed similarly to a backpack and can be adjusted to almost any body size with an adjustable frame and straps. The exoskeleton supports the upper extremities of professionals and skilled trade workers who are exposed to repetitive arm motions and/or stationary arm elevation.

It is assembled with 32 engineered plastic components manufactured by igus. The self-lubricating bearings offer several advantages compared to steel bearings, including lighter weight and extended durability. Engineer Mark Doyle, who developed the Airframe, said the product can achieve nearly one million movement cycles in its working mode.

Doyle designed the Airframe to support surgeons who suffered from fatigue and pain after long surgeries. When it was used at a healthcare facility, an internal review board found physicians who wore the Airframe had a 50% decrease in fatigue and the pain rate decreased 25%.

The Airframe transfers the weight of the arms from shoulders, neck and upper back to the body's core, evenly distributing energy to reduce stress. The Airframe slips on and off easily and moves seamlessly with the wearer without intruding on the workspace or limiting motion or dexterity.

The iglide G300 bearing is one of those used in the Airframe. The bushing is used frequently in automotive, machine building and mechatronics. The iglide G300 has a PV value of 12,000, a tensile strength of 30,460 at 68° and a density of 1.46 g/cubic cm. "All of igus' products go through extensive testing to ensure durability," said a company spokesperson.

Three other igus iglide bearings were used in the Airframe - the T500, M250 and Z - and all have different capabilities. igus' products are manufactured during a three-step engineering process and are made with any combination of up to 30 materials that are blended together, based on the application.

"The benefits of this device have been incredible," said Jim Roozeboom, Safety Engineering Manager of the Vermeer Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial and agricultural equipment in Iowa. "The team members that have used this tool are more than happy to use it and have seen more prolonged work activities without feeling fatigued by the end of their shift."

For more information contact:

Levitate Technologies, Inc.

858-668-5381

info@levitatetech.com

www.levitatetech.com

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