An entry into the 2011 iF Concept Design contest, the H3 Vest by Martin Gschwandtl aims at not only making a work zone safer but making workers in that zone more productive using artificial muscle technology.
Despite advances in technology and construction materials, workers are still in harm’s way on many construction zones with as many as 60% of the injured not being ableto return to work even after a significant amount of time has passed.While hardhats and safety vests can go a long way to limiting physical injury, they can do little to speed up production and keep workers safe.
Now Martin Gschwandtl has created theH3 Vest, a combination of energy accumulators and artificial muscle technology that is aimed at providing power when and where it is needed. The idea here is that the vest and single-arm piece will slip into place and provide needed muscle assistance via the accumulators located in the back. This in combination with the H3’s specially designed power drill will allow workers who have been injured to continue working and those who have not to stay safe. Ideally, the H3is designed to simply supplement human effort, not replace it all together.
H3 arm sling: power for the people.
This is an interesting concept, one that is being examined in a variety of fields for use in physiotherapy and human augmentation. The problem here lies in the fact that while construction work zones would certainly benefit from greater speed and more power, attaching it to the arms of workersdoesn’t seem like the most efficient method. Not only that but injured employees, no matter the type of device they can wear on their arm, will likely be looked at as a hazard by the company and not worth the expense, frankly.
That brings us to the question of cost as accumulators and arm stimulators are not in the realm of cheap,and one has to wonder what kind of company would take the “spend money to make money” attitude with this one.
The concept is really interesting and the vest looks pretty damn cool, but we’re curious to see how it fares at the upcoming iF design awards. It may need a helping hand.