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New invention combines an exosuit with an invisible chair and may revolutionize plant safety

Aug. 4, 2017

The lightweight wearable chair allows users to walk normally and, with the push of a button, the unit locks into place to enable users to sit comfortably.

Exosuits are slowly bridging the gap between science fiction and reality, giving wearers near super-human abilities like enhanced strength, improved endurance, and the ability to sit wherever they want. The Chairless Chair, pioneered by noonee, is designed specifically for plant workers who are prone to lower extremity ailments caused by hours of standing. The lightweight wearable chair allows users to walk normally and, with the push of a button, the unit locks into place to enable users to sit comfortably.

According to Jacopo Prisco for CNN: “The device never touches the ground, which makes it easier to wear: a belt secures it to the hips and it has straps that wrap around the thighs. A variable damper engages and supports the bodyweight, which is directed towards the heels of the shoes. These are specially designed and part of the mechanism, but an alternate version works with any footwear and touches the ground only when in a stationary position. The user just moves into the desired pose and then powers the device, which currently runs for about 24 hours on a single 6V battery.”

According to David Z. Morris for Fortune: “The Chairless Chair is designed for manufacturing workers, particularly those who have to move frequently and hold awkward postures. Workers wear the device as they move from task to task, and when they need to crouch, squat, or sit, a small switch locks the device at the knees. Small knobs at the heels take weight off of worker’s knees, helping reduce physical strain.

According to Noonee cofounder and CEO Keith Gunura, Audi and BMW showed early interest and became testing grounds for the device. Daimler and Airbus have also taken an interest.”

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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