Exoskeleton suits for US shipyard
The US Navy’s Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) is testing Levitate’s Airframe exoskeleton suits as a way of reducing the risk of injury to the workforce, the navy announced on 7 December.
The Levitate Airframe exoskeleton suit is a flexible power suit or limb accessory technology that is able to reduce force on important joints in the body and make it easier for the user to be versatile and safe while lifting, lowering or performing extensive labour.
The new exoskeleton suit technology includes accessories for legs, back and shoulders. Safety representatives, process improvement managers and shipyard workers are being trained and certified to use the devices across the waterfront. Initial implementation of the Levitate Airframe is set to take place aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman.
Edwin Guerra, the Robotics Subcommittee lead, said: ‘This technology is very promising and could make a huge impact for our workers putting in the time and energy to service the fleet on a daily basis. Our main focus... is to improve the health and safety of our waterfront workers and increase their quality of life.
‘They are doing the day-to-day operations and straining their bodies to get the job done. But with technologies like the exoskeleton suit, we are able to certify and fit our workforce with something that can reduce the risk of injury and also be comfortable to use.’
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