while most desk bound folks are encourage to stand when the work on their computer, other folks whose jobs required them to stand all day long would probably wish for the opposite. due to the nature of some jobs, seats may do more harm to the work than good. therein lies the long term health hazard, which Noonee Chairless Chair aims to eliminate. Noonee is a start-up project from Bio-Inspired Robotics at ETH Zurich specializing in the field of simple assistive devices and Chairless Chair is their proposed solution for ‘chairs not allow’ situations. in essence, Chairless Chair is what it says it is. it is a chair, but doesn’t quite take the form of a chair which would otherwise takes up space or worst, contributes to shop floor hazard.
in fact, it is a half exoskeleton that starts at the butt and goes down the legs. however, this half exoskeleton suit will not grant you superpower or lets you make superhuman leaps and neither will it impedes your natural movement like walking or climbing stairs – all it does is to let you have a sit, wherever you need and however you like in terms of sitting height. the wearable device has a powered variable damper that will support your weight and taking a sit just as simple as getting down to the level you desire or most comfortable for the work and press a button to lock it in place. once the damper is engaged, the device directs your weight down to the heels of the device which is attached to your shoes. straps are used to attach the device to your thighs and shins, while a belt holds the wearable hardware at your waist.
the prototype tips the scale at under 3 kg and is powered by a 6V battery pack that could last 24 hours of constant use. noonee Chairless Chair may not be the super exoskeleton like what Raytheon is developing, but it is a step towards taking the load off our shoulder, or in this case, our legs, so we can work more efficiently and effectively without attributing any long term health risks. the prime highlight of Chairless Chair is, you will still get to use a fraction of your muscles to keep yourself balanced, so that you are still control of your muscles and don’t weaken them by using the device over a period of time.
well, if you ask me, i’d say it will be even more awesome if it could be rigged to a mind control system so that manual activation of the sitting position will not be necessary, or better yet, have sophisticated sensors to sense the intention to sit and have the dampers react according. those are just some (perhaps unrealistic) ideas that wanders out of my wacky mind. anyway, noonee is not for sale yet, well, at least not for general consumers until the team is able to embed it into clothes or “make it super sexy… sort of like the Google Glass.” for now, noonee has its sight set at factories and are more than happy to initiate a pilot with factories that are willing to rent the Chairless Chair.
UPDATE [August 25, 2014 6:50AM PDT] check out a video of Keith using the device in the embedded Vimeo clip below. action starts at around 3:40 mark.
a big thanks to Olga of noonee for sharing with us the press material and images. we really appreciate the gesture.