I had the opportunity to test Equipois' latest innovation yesterday, the x-AR™, here at the Applied Ergonomics Conference. I've always been impressed with Equipois, from its technology to its team of enthusiastic and skillful people. They take ergonomics very seriously, and it shows. They are a model product development company. Their technologies are innovative, their approach to the marketplace is carefully planned, they test and refine their devices to ensure that they really do what they claim — that they really do improve the work and performance of people, from assembly lines to surgical suites. They have integrity, and it shows.
Here's the full press release describing their latest device.
ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Equipois Inc., designer and manufacturer of the zeroG® mechanical arm technology, debuted today the x-Ar™, the world’s first exoskeletal arm support system for manual tasks, at the Applied Ergonomics Conference in Orlando, Florida. Designed to assist with a wide range of activities in industries where people work with their arms outstretched for long periods of time, the x-Ar simply attaches to a human’s arm and becomes, in essence, a formidable mechanical arm, providing dynamic support throughout the user’s range of motion, while significantly minimizing fatigue and discomfort.
“The x-Ar is the first technology that utilizes an exoskeleton to increase the human arm’s stamina and strength,” said Eric Golden, President and CEO of Equipois. “We believe that the human hand guided by the human brain is the most powerful and versatile tool ever created. The x-Ar enhances that tool, rather than trying to mimic or replace it, and should significantly impact the workplace across diverse industries.”
Brian Hernandez, Environmental Health & Safety Manager for Ceradyne Corporation said, “We tested x-Ar as part of the pilot program. It is truly a unique technology. The x-Ar is a great tool to reduce stress and fatigue associated with work-related repetitive motion tasks involving the arms, wrists, shoulders, and neck. The use of x-Ar in these high exposure ergonomic areas could greatly improve and contribute to a reduction in work related sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal disorders associated with work related repetitive motion injuries.”
The x-Ar is a descendent of Equipois’s successful zeroG mechanical arm technology, which holds tools and parts enabling operators to manipulate them as if weightless, but with practically unlimited freedom of motion. zeroG has been adopted as a best practice by some of the world’s top manufacturing companies and has earned Equipois numerous honors, including being named “Most Innovative Company in North America” by 2010 International “Stevie” Awards. zeroG eliminates workplace injuries and boosts productivity, with an annual ROI up to 500%.
The technology driving both the zeroG and x-Ar product lines was invented by Garrett Brown, inventor of the Steadicam® camera stabilization system. The Steadicam revolutionized the movie and television industries by allowing camera operators to achieve shots never thought possible. Equipois believes that the x-Ar will change the way people work in a broad range of industries, from manufacturing to health care to bioresearch. The company also has versions under development to help disabled persons control their arms and legs, enabling them to perform basic life tasks.