Fraco Exoskeleton by Mawashi

 

Discover the most recent innovation in the field of masonry

 

 

upper limb actuation System

  

  • Hybrid system combining passive and quasi-passive actuation to support and assist the mason’s arm

  • Assists the mason in lifting and placing the masonry blocks as well as manipulating masonry tools

  • Does no restrict the mason’s ease and range of motion when using the trowel and applying mortar

  • Aims at reducing muscle fatigue during various tasks involving the upper limbs

 

Quasi-Passive Joint Locking Mechanism

  

  • Supports the weight of the mason’s arm, masonry blocks and tools by compensating for gravity

  • Positioned directly at the arm articulations

  • Supports torques of up to 40 N·m at the elbow and shoulder joints

  • Can support up to 26 lb per arm at the elbow

  • Can support up to 15 lb per arm (outstretched arm)

  • Very low energy consumption

  • Rapid engagement/disengagement

  • Several days of autonomy for standard masonry tasks

  • Compatible with Lithium-ion battery packs

 

Passive Lifting Assistance Mechanism

 

  • Consists of an elastic system coupled with an optimized spring-cam mechanism

  • Provides up to 27.5 N·m (Peak) at the shoulder joint and 17.5 N·m at the elbow joint to the user when lifting objects with his arms

  • Can lift up to 10.5 lb per arm at the elbow joint

  • Can lift up to 10.5 lb per arm (outstretched arm)

Data provided for a man of average height (5'10")

 
 

CLICK HERE to download the 'Fraco Exosketon by Mawashi' information sheet


 

Fraco exoskeleton by mawashi: 2021 update

2021-02 | Despite the constraints imposed by the pandemic, the Mawashi team is continuing to develop the Fraco Exoskeleton for the masonry industry with the aim of putting it into production in the summer of 2021.

Remember, one year ago, when we announced to the world that in 2021, masons & bricklayers could have an exoskeleton built for them? Well, it’s still happening folks! 2020 was a LOT of things, but it didn’t stop Mawashi Science & Technology from working on this innovation for the masonry industry.

The most exciting part is that the suit has been uniquely standardized. What we mean by that is that the Mawashi team found a way to make sure that the suit would have a unique fit for each user. A set of various sized parts has been developed to make sure that the length of the bottom part perfectly fits the mason/bricklayer, and the upper part has been designed with adjustment mechanisms to fit all sizes.

In the next 5 months, the Mawashi team will upgrade the prototype by testing it with bricklayers and making it better every time. Then, at the beginning of the summer, they will start producing, to have the first 50 exoskeletons ready in September 2021. After that, 50 in October, and 50 in November.

Some of you have already pre-ordered yours - you’ve been patient, it’s coming guys!

QUESTIONS? For more information, please contact the company Fraco Products Ltd, Mawashi's official distributor for the masonry industry, by clicking HERE


 

Mawashi's Exoskeleton Featured on the Cover Page of the Masonry Magazine in the U.S.

2020-06 | Exoskeletons for Bricklayers: Science Fiction is Now Reality

Article published in the June 2020 edition of the Masonry Magazine, a monthly publication providing over 27,000 members and subscribers with timely, informative articles. It has been considered the leader in the space since 1961.

When we think of exoskeletons, the image of Iron Man might be the first thing that comes to mind…of course, who wouldn’t want to try out a suit like that! But the exoskeleton for the masonry industry, which we will be sharing with you today, didn’t come out of a movie script. It came from the collaboration between an innovative company, Mawashi Science & Technology, and a visionary entrepreneur and bricklayer, Mr. Armand Rainville, who wanted to better the lives of the men & women working in that trade.

Armand Rainville knows everything about bricklaying. He has done it, he has run teams who did it, he bought a company that manufactures tools to help people do it, and now, 28 years later, Fraco Products is a leader in the mast climbers and hoist industry. His daughters, Emmanuelle & Julie, are now the co-presidents of Fraco, but Armand is still there, supporting them and staying one step ahead of competition, with innovation on his mind.

One day Armand had an idea, “What about a suit that could help bricklayers stay healthy, avoid injury, help more women join the trade and keep the aging workforce laying bricks longer?” He knew exactly where to go to transform into reality, his vision of a suit, made specifically for the masonry industry. He got in his car and drove about 20 miles, to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, to meet with the team at Mawashi who had already developed a suitable solution for his vision: A passive load-bearing exoskeleton (...)

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the website of the Masonry Magazine


 

'Fraco exoskeleton by mawashi' introduced at world of concrete 2020 in las vegas

2020-02 | The company Fraco Products Ltd. introduced the 'Fraco Exoskeleton by Mawashi' at the World of Concrete (WOC) 2020 in Las Vegas, NV, USA, the commercial construction industry’s largest annual international event for concrete and masonry professional.

Fraco used World of Concrete to show its exoskeleton prototype, a wearable technology geared toward reducing worker fatigue and injuries associated with handling concrete blocks. The company also said the unit could counter the lack of labor present in the construction industry.

Developed in collaboration with Mawashi Science & Technology, the Fraco Exoskeleton is a device attached to several sections of the human body to restore mobility and reduce effort. It is the result of an adaptation of the UPRISE® exoskeleton developed by Mawashi for the military sector and it is the first civilian application of the model.

The unit consists of an actuation system for the upper limbs to support and assist masons’ arms, a quasi-passive joint locking mechanism and a passive lifting assistance mechanism. It is free-flowing and does not restrict any range of motion. The unit can reduce the weight of concrete blocks by 21 pounds.

For Armand Rainville, founder of Fraco, the device is a revolution for the masonry industry. “During my career as a mason, I have known so many workers who have had to leave the profession around the age of 40 because they have jeopardized their health by maneuvering concrete blocks. We developed the Fraco Exoskeleton with all these workers in mind.”

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the website of the KHL Group

 

 

 


 

Wearable technologies: Exoskeletons, a marvel of engineering on construction sites

2019-12 | Construction workers handle heavy materials and tools. The work also requires repetitive tasks, a situation that wears out the body and causes fatigue, which affects work productivity and alertness on construction sites. Exoskeletons are technologies that increase the capacity of the human body. This is why exoskeleton manufacturers are reaching out to construction associations.

Article published in the winter 2019 edition of the CONSTRUIRE magazine, the official publication of Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ) for over 30 years. With 4 editions per year, it includes a variety of articles on different aspects of construction in Quebec.

An exoskeleton is a light, resistant and durable structure which is worn on the body. It allows the load and pressure exerted on the human body to be redirected when an object is transported. It brings precision and power to the limbs and joints. Exoskeletons include passive elements, like springs, or active components, like motors. Unpowered systems are the most popular. The system enables, increases or enhances movement or physical activity.

"Exoskeletons' proven successes in motor skills training have since inspired the workplace accident prevention market", says Simon Pesant, scientific researcher and project coordinator at Mawashi. "The appropriate equipment allows workers to perform repetitive movements quickly, intensely and efficiently without human fatigue or injury and to adopt healthy working postures."

“Exoskeletons help saving lives, especially in environments where the dangerousness index is high. Their ergonomics help the body to transport heavy equipment and fuel ease of movement”, observes Jean-Marc Sheitoyan, chief strategy officer at Mawashi.

These state-of-the-art devices will allow construction professionals to work more years, including preventing premature deterioration of the wrists, elbows and shoulders, and helping the body better manage movement and absorb the weight of the tools. They particularly help to reduce the pressure that the work effort exerts on the muscles and ligaments.

Exoskeletons do not replace the skills of the workers. They help to do the job better by ensuring the movement, strength and endurance of workers. Even more important, they prevent accidents. This equipment is part of the large family of Human Augmentation Systems (HAS), which includes augmented reality products, such as protective glasses that increase vision and connected helmets.

The evolution of these products is exponential and the demand is growing. Indeed, they improve the competitiveness of work. They add to the quality of life of workers and contribute to the advancement of construction sites. However, construction companies have special needs: they are looking for body-molded and low profile products that are not bulky. Which is what the industry is currently developing.

CLICK HERE to read the full article (in French) on the website of the CONSTRUIRE magazine


 

exoskeletons: soon reality

2018-01 | Technological advances in the field of construction come from everywhere. In addition to artificial intelligence and robots, exoskeletons could disrupt the way of doing things in the construction industry.

Article published on January 30th, 2018 in the Constructo magazine, the preferred reference for construction stakeholders in Quebec for over 50 years.

The potential of exoskeletons is great, especially in the medical field where devices are being built for people who have lost the use of one or more limbs. By combining robotics, computer science and neurosurgery, we can now connect the brains of patients to exoskeletons; allowing them to feel their legs again, with the ability to contract muscles and control their movements.

While progress may become significant in the coming years, exoskeletons offer concrete solutions for the construction industry at the moment. Most of them are mechanical systems, without motor or computer hardware, designed to ease the task of workers. It should be understood that the problems associated with musculoskeletal disorders can represent significant losses for businesses. This is why the exoskeletons currently in operation are designed to meet the needs related to ergonomics or health and safety (...)

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the website of the Constructo magazine


 

MILITARY APPLICATIONS: Click here to learn more about Mawashi's UPRISE® Tactical Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton