Exoskeletons are advancing every day in the professional world. Since official organizations such as INRS or the European Commission have certified their usefulness, new models and business applications abound. In addition, HSE managers are increasingly integrating this accessory into their overall safety policy. As a reminder, an exoskeleton is a device (motorized or not) attached to one or more limbs of the human body to increase its capacities or resistance. Before reserved for a handful of workers, the expansion of its use has gradually democratized it.
Particularly at the instigation of insurers, on the front line in certain countries to cover work stoppages. Last example, the “Chairless Chair (literally chair without a chair), an exoskeleton dedicated to relieving the lower body. It was developed by the German startup Noonee. A huge success, to the point that it has won over large global groups. Companies like Ford, Daimler, Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi. Zoom in on this novelty in the world of exoskeletons, as inventive as it is effective.
The chair without chair
The Chairless Chair looks like an artificial lower body supporting that of the worker. Space-saving, this exoskeleton can support a weight of 100 kg per leg. The support is characterized by metal parts for the legs and a harness for the rest of the lower body. The device supporting the worker down to the lower back. The trick is that the metal part, supposed to reproduce the legs to better support them, is made up of several parts symbolizing the main parts. In short we have a foot, a tibia, a femur, a knee and a support for the posterior linked together.
The lower part (the feet) looks like tripod feet for industrial use. The metal part symbolizing the tibia can be adjusted according to different body sizes. To engage the adjustment, just press a button on the back of each leg. Next is the femoral segment, which connects the lower part of the chair to the seat cushion (under the buttocks). Behind the knees are two orange segments, which function as plugs. Traffic jams that prevent the device from collapsing when the user decides to take a break.
The last part is therefore the seat supporting the posterior. It is characterized by the shape of 2 pads. Which are, at first glance, barely big enough to support that part of the body. Because the German brand wanted to lighten the model as much as possible. The 3-point harness ensures the chairless chair is always ready to move into a seated position. It also gives the wearer the freedom to move without obstruction. An upper body harness can also be used if needed.
A dazzling success
The German startup has succeeded in convincing large groups to integrate its exoskeleton into global security policies. Mainly automotive groups, for workers standing in their workshops. Thus, it was first of all the German companies Volkswagen, Audi and Daimler who were won over by the Chairless Chair. Then came the turn of Japanese Toyota and American Ford. A success for Noonee, but also for the entire exoskeleton sector. Because successfully integrating models into the HSE strategies of large groups is a giant step forward.
No doubt, the Chairless Chair is the most eye-catching novelty of the year in the world of exoskeletons. Lightweight equipment that seems to have taken into account requests for improvements made to the sector by organizations like the European Union. To the delight of employees, evolving in better conditions thanks to technology.