StrongArm Technologies: ErgoSkeleton and Worker Safety
Author: Thomas C. Weiss : Contact: disabled-world.com
Published: 2014-06-10 : (Rev. 2018-06-21)
Synopsis and Key Points:
Information relating to StrongArm Technologies a company that develops technological breakthroughs in worker safety, strength and endurance.
The company's goal is to assist the millions of workers workers in industry around the world who perform physically challenging jobs in extreme environments. StrongArm Technologies desires to enable these workers to achieve higher levels of safety and performance, as well as health.
StrongArm Technologies was founded by 2 gentlemen with fathers whose bodies endured incredible physical strain at their blue collar jobs. Over time they were faced with negative physical consequences from their work in the latter part of their lives. The company's mission is to ensure the industrial athletes of today come home in better health and spirit to assure a better future.
Industrial workers are expected to perform with agility, strength, as well as endurance at the level of professional athletes. Workers are not given the benefit of athletic equipment with the goal of preventing injuries and maximizing their performance. Due to the lack of equipment, StrongArm Technologies is inventing new methods and devices to bridge the gap between safety and performance.
The company's first product approaches a common task - manual lifting. The design of StrongArm Technology's product is to make manual lifting safe for workers. The V22 is a self-powered exoskeleton.
StrongArm Technologies created a technology that reinforces a worker's musculoskeletal system and makes lifting more natural, powerful and safe. The V22 is the 1st precision lifting, 'ErgoSkeleton,' in the world today. The product creates an entirely new category of safety equipment that enhances a person's performance. A purely chance meeting at RIT in the year 2008 between Sean Petterson and Justin Hillery led to the launch of StrongArm Technologies, Inc. and the invention of the ErgoSkeleton ideas. The V22 is now the 1st passive device in the world that uses proven technology to bolster human lifting dynamics.
As they grew up, Sean and Justing were exposed to the results the harsh work environments had on their fathers' physical health and well-being. As athletes who took advantage of high performance equipment, they both felt a strong desire to provide their fathers with the same advantage they had for carry heavy loads, handling hazardous materials, and scaling steep pitched roofs. Sean and Justin, drawn together by their common mission, are inventing and manufacturing industrial athletic performance equipment they wish their fathers had to make a difference in the lives on workers today and in the future.
StrongArm Technologies is building a culture that challenges the idea of impossibilities through innovative design and technological development. The company is in the business of designing and manufacturing what some have considered to be impossible. The developments they have been able to achieve have broken new ground in the performance and safety of human lifting dynamics. Each day they are compelled by the ambition to empower and improve the lives of workers through their inventions.
StrongArm Technologies' ErgoSkeleton
Chart showing ErgoSkeleton's goals
'ErgoSkeleton,' products from StrongArm Technologies help people to get more from their various physical efforts. The products are engineered by StrongArm to equip people with a stronger defense against harmful forces while enhancing their efficiency. In operation, the ErgoSkeleton and human musculoskeletal system co-generate safety control and power control in a single and integrated system. ErgoSkeleton is not a technology - it is a platform for applying technologies that advance human ergonomics with the goals of improving productivity, efficiency, wellness and health. At this time, StrongArm Technologies is creating specialized ErgoSkeleton lifting devices for health care and material handling markets.
StrongArm Technologies believes it is time to replace conventional lifting with a more intelligent solution. Back injuries from lifting are a common occurrence and the numbers are only increasing in both the health care and material handling markets. The financial burden and stress these injuries create for care providers, material handlers and employers are getting out of control.
Studies have revealed that teaching employees appropriate lifting techniques alone is not sufficient. Even ergonomically astute material handlers tend to reconstitute inappropriate lifting postures as their work pace quickens or changes. Safe lifting techniques and practices assist with the prevention of injuries, yet real-time lifting help is needed to make each lift a safe one.
Lifting with the V22 ErgoSkeleton
StrongArm Technologies invented ErgoSkeleton lifting with the goals of preventing musculoskeletal injuries, improving lifting performance, and extending people's careers. Injuries from lifting are caused by a number of factors such as awkward positions, load force and unsafe lifting techniques. The ErgoSkeleton is a self-powered lifting device that connects firmly to a person's torso with almost no opposing forces between the person and the ErgoSkeleton.
The product becomes integral with the person's musculoskeletal system to improve their lifting dynamics, safety and efficiency. To make lifting, carrying and lowering operations more ergonomic, the ErgoSkeleton and human musculoskeletal systems co-generate safety and power control in a single and integrated system. The power control function assists a person with transferring and reducing load forces more efficiently and safely.
The ErgoSkeleton directs 80-90% of the load force to the stronger muscles in a person's buttocks and legs over the span of the lift. It concurrently transfers 50-75% of the force from the weaker tissues and muscles in a person's hands, arms and lower back. Power control also reduces force by absorbing them and dispersing them evenly over a person's entire torso.
The safety control function provides a number of controls that help a person in using appropriate posture and body mechanics for a wide range of lifts. It provides control limits and measures, as well as guides and sensory feedback to ensure compliance with safe lifting practices. Throughout each lift, the safety control sets limits on a person's hands that prevent twisting and over-reaching while ensuring close proximity to the load position. Activated by the load itself, the safety control contracts the core bands like a muscle around the person's core to increase power, stability and balance. Simultaneously, it delivers sensory feedback to pressure points on the person's back to assist the person with maintaining an upright posture and spine position.
The V22's lightweight yet rigid construction enables it to be deployed in the field where strength and versatility are crucial to the job. The product integrates seamlessly with the human form-factor to enhance performance without getting in the person's way. The laws of physics, as well as years of research, are literally placed in the fingertips of people with a thoughtfully designed and intuitive user interface. The V22 is as quick and easy to put on as a backpack and people can tap into its performance enhancing characteristics at will.
StrongArm Technologies Invention Method
Chart showing ErgoSkeleton features
StrongArm Technologies invention ethos is, 'build, measure, learn.' The company's ethos is what drives them; it is their strategy. Before the company was founded, Sean and Justin met in the weight room at RIT in the year 2010. The two shared ideas and promptly started working on a concept Sean was interested in - 'removing weight from the hands when lifting.'
In under 24 hours, Justin built the first prototype on a sewing machine in his dorm room; it was the first version of the, 'lifting yolk.' One day later V2 the, 'Lifting Yolk in a jacket,' was built. About the time Sean and Justin created the V5 the, 'Octopus,' the, 'build, measure, learn,' loop became a way of life for them.
The same year, the two created a new lifting device every 2 weeks. The early prototypes created enough viable functionality each time to evaluate the impact they provided to customers. After developments in lift dynamics were established, the two focused on ergonomics such as body temperature and hand grips, as well as ease of use and range of motion.
Following hundreds of iterations and 36 months, Sean and Justin built the V22, 'ErgoSkeleton Lifting,' device. It is the first passive lifting device in the world that improves a person's lifting dynamics. What follows are features of the V22 ErgoSkeleton:
- Arc Suspension Arm: The Arc Suspension Arm disperses forces evenly over both of a person's shoulders to balance the load with reducing over-exertion on the person's entire body. It guides the load through the cords into the transmission column.
- Posture Pads: Ergonomic pads on the transmission column that align with pressure points on a person's back give sensory feedback to the person's body, helping to guide it into an upright and appropriate posture, physically keeping the person's body inline with the natural curvature of their spine.
- Transmission Column: The transmission column is a rigid, spine-like member that directs the load from the Cords to stronger, more stable areas around the person's body. Fully supporting the person's upper body while shifting the load to the person's buttocks and legs is an immense benefit of the transmission column.
- Hand Clutches + Transmission Cord: Hand clutches secure the load while reducing hand fatigue. Transmission cords set limits that prevent over-reaching and ensure close proximity to the load. Simultaneously, they take the load off of the person's arms and redistribute it to the person's lower body through the Arc Suspension System.
StrongArm Technologies - www.strongarmtech.com
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