The Swiss company Noonee has made a markedly low-tech addition to the growing trend for assistive exoskeleton devices. While other exoskeletons use robotics and motors to help paralyzed users walk or warehouse workers lift with more power, Noonee’s Chairless Chair is just a minimal plastic frame, and it helps with one simple task: sitting.
The Chairless Chair is designed for manufacturing workers, particularly those who have to move frequently and hold awkward postures. Workers wear the device as they move from task to task, and when they need to crouch, squat, or sit, a small switch locks the device at the knees. Small knobs at the heels take weight off of worker’s knees, helping reduce physical strain.
Such relief could lead to fewer missed work days and better long-term worker health.
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According to Noonee cofounder and CEO Keith Gunura, Audi and BMW showed early interest and became testing grounds for the device. Daimler and Airbus have also taken an interest.
The Chairless Chair, created in collaboration with the design firm Sapetti, is Noonee’s first product, and Gunura anticipates demand for tens of thousands of units per year.