[Ads-l] exoskeleton

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 3 13:58:25 EDT 2017


On May 15, the The Verge ran an article titled "Lowe’s prototype exoskeletons give warehouse workers a boost” by James Vincent, discussing a wearable power device that assists in lifting heavy objects and doing other physical tasks.

This definition is not on Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/exoskeleton <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/exoskeleton>) or the online Oxford Dictionaries (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/exoskeleton <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/exoskeleton>) yet, but it does have a Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton>.

A predecessor to this I found in the WIPO database is “exoskeleton” for a robot with an application date of 5 May 2000:
corrosion resistant exoskeleton arm linkage assembly
applicant: BROOKS AUTOMATION, INC.
inventors: BEAULIEU, David, R.; AVENEY, Robert, T.; HA, Tuan
http://bit.ly/2rwfmj9 <http://bit.ly/2rwfmj9>

Around that time are a number of patents discussing exoskeletons for shoes, gloves, robots and other inventions.

The earliest patent I see for the type worn by a human has an application date of 7 December 2001:
upper extremity exoskeleton structure and method
applicants and inventors: ZEMLYAKOV VLADIMIR, MCDONOUGH PATRICK
http://bit.ly/2s4qsyM

There are a number of hits on Google for this meaning of exoskeleton (I searched with “lifting”) going back to the 1960s, but they are all Google-dated. I think it’s likely that some predate this patent application.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA


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