Mar 122011

If you’ve seen Avatar or Aliens, then you’ve seen futuristic versions of exoskeletons – mechanical systems that human users wear over their bodies, to augment their own physical abilities.

While exoskeletons are already available and in use today, they’re sometimes a bit more machine than what is needed. After all, why put on an expensive full- or half-body contraption, when you’re performing a task that mostly just requires the use of one arm? That’s where the x-Ar exoskeletal arm support comes in. Users wear it on their dominant arm, and it moves with them, providing support as they do things such as holding tools out in front of themselves.

The x-Ar is the latest product from Equipois, which has already been selling a little something called the zeroG. Also reminiscent of Aliens technology, it’s a Steadicam-inspired device that can either be worn via a back brace-like arrangement, or mounted on a work stand, wall track, or other apparatus beside the worker. Just like a Steadicam allows a movie camera to seemingly float weightlessly beside its operator, using nothing but hinges, springs and counterweights, the zeroG (pictured below) does the same thing for whatever tool is mounted on it.

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