STTR Phase I: Lower Extremity Exoskeleton Assist Device for Reducing the Risk of Back Injuries among Workers

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0739552
Agency Tracking Number: 0739552
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
2131 University Ave. #428, Berkeley, CA, 94704
DUNS: 190152921
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nathan Harding
 MS
 (415) 533-8062
 nathan@berkeleyexoworks.com
Business Contact
 Nathan Harding
Title: MS
Phone: (415) 533-8062
Email: nathan@berkeleyexoworks.com
Research Institution
 University of California - Berkley
 Homayoon Kazerooni
 6147 Etcheverry Hall
Berkley, CA, 94720 1740
 (510) 642-2964
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project seeks to create exoskeleton assist devices for workers in distribution centers and automobile assembly plants. By using these assistive devices, workers can dramatically reduce the load in the vertebrae of the lower back when maneuvering parts and boxes. Such collaboration between humans and machines has the benefit of the intellectual advantage of humans coupled with the strength advantage of machines. The proposed project involves the University of California at Berkeley as research partner, General Motors Corporation, and the U.S. Postal Service. The end goal is a reduction in back injuries in the workplace which are considered by OSHA the nation?s number one workplace safety problem. The broader impacts of this research are reduced worker's compensation insurance costs, reduced disability payments, increased worker productivity, and the ability for workers to keep working into their older years; in short, improve worker quality of life. Furthermore, these new devices will open an entirely new market which will serve an important role in establishing the United States as the number one player in the emerging field of bionics. The potential impacts to worker safety and American quality of life are large and diverse.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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