The exoskeleton developer Laevo takes another step towards its goal of eliminating back pain with its new occupational wearable product, the Laevo Flex V3.0. The Laevo Flex is an industrial passive back assist exoskeleton designed from the ground up based on user feedback. It was unveiled for the first time at the WearRAcon Europe 2021 during the live EXOWORKATHLON organized by Fraunhofer IPA.
The Laevo Flex V3.0 is designed to be a highly customizable wearable that provides assistance while minimizing physical hindrance. Years of integrating the Laevo 2.5 exoskeleton at customer sites have given the company the necessary feedback to create this new product. The main differentiating factor for the Laevo Flex is that it could be worn continuously for an entire workday. The Laevo Flex uses an interchangeable vest with versions for both men and women. The gas springs have improved water and dust resistance and now connect to a swivel joint, technically a differential, to allow for greater mobility. The differential moves according to the body, including while walking or taking a wide stance, without losing support. This increases the footprint of the user by a few inches but the size is in line with other passive exoskeletons on the market.
“The goal is to prevent back pain. Right now, exoskeletons are either powerful or comfortable, but not both,” elaborates Duncan Treffers, Chief Sales Officer at Laevo at the time. This product tries to break the mold. The Laevo Flex supports dynamic lifting and lifting from a wide stance. The vest replaces the chest plate and changes the force direction from pushing to pulling against the chest. Other exoskeleton developers have noted in the past that this can result in a more uniform distribution of forces and thus achieve greater comfort.
The Laevo Flex is made with the intent to make it easier to reach for tools and increase the maximum range of motion available to the user. As introduced with Laevo 2.5, the connecting rods are interchangeable providing for additional customization of the wearable device. The Laevo Flex V3.0 takes a little bit longer to don (from 10 seconds to 15 seconds) but the increased comfort should be well worth it. The new model is also easier to adjust on the fly for a better fit or to share the device. The Laevo Flex allows for more movements such as pushing, pulling, or even biking. Another notable difference highlighted during the unveiling is the increase in strength of the integrated gas springs which can now provide as much as 2.5 more power than previous models.
The Laevo Team announced in April 2022 that the Laevo FLEX has received official European Union certification as a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including the CE mark.
While there are numerous exoskeleton and wearable robotics devices that have a CE Mark, the Laevo FLEX is the first one to be awarded a declaration of conformity in accordance with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulation (EU) 2016/425. The certification was performed using the EU type-examination Module B/C.
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Laevo B.V., Patrijsweg 30, 2289 EX, RIJSWIJK, The Netherlands, website
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