Exoskeletons have begun to proliferate. And because AI cannot yet automate manual labor positions, the category will surely grow, as more companies see the cost benefits: Reduced downtime, reduced worker injury, increased productivity. It's good bang-for-the-buck.
With exoskeletons evolving and improving each year, there is no singular dominant design. We have Atoun's Model Y, with a monolithic and utilitarian look:
There's Ottobock's Shoulder Exoskeleton, with a more technological, deconstructed look and exposed workings:
German Bionic's Cray X "power suit" falls, aesthetically speaking, somewhere between the two:
The Cray X was designed by Studio Kurbos, an industrial design consultancy specializing in automotive, product and user experience design. German Bionics asked them to reimagine the form for the Cray X's successor, their next-generation Apogee exoskeleton, which new technology allows to be slimmer and lighter.
For their approach to the Apogee, Studio Kurbos "consistently geared the design to the wearer's needs in terms of comfort and operation," the studio writes. "With this product, the focus is clearly on people. Consequently, the handling has to be user-friendly and the operation as intuitive as possible. Although the design looks futuristic, it never appears cold and forbidding, but always functional and user centered."
"Three complex challenges have been optimally solved by designers, technicians and model makers in close cooperation. The different components (back section, vest and hip section with construction straps) are seemingly invisibly connected to each other. The battery is so elegantly integrated into the form that it is hardly noticeable. The Apogee exoskeleton must be extremely stable on the one hand and at the same time as light as possible in order to optimally support the user. To this end, the lightweight construction was provided with targeted cutouts to save material and thus weight."
The Apogee appears to be nearing production readiness. German Bionics presented a demonstration model at last month's LogiMAT trade show, but at press time there was no word on a firm release date.
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How a rigid backpack helps anything?
If an object is too heavy for a person to manipulate... you don't have a person manipulate it. We figured this out back when we started using beasts of burden sometime around the founding of Sumer. I truly hate these things, all forms of them. The only end goal of these that I see is old people out of money from no social security net being dragged back to the work force since now they can do heavy labor again. Nothing but dystopian nightmares all around.