News & Press Releases

 

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.


 

Singapore Army trials Mawashi's UPRISE® titanium Exoskeleton designed to reduce load on soldiers

2020-07 | The Singapore Army is trialling Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton designed to reduce the stress on soldiers carrying heavy loads.

In the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day 2020 video released on July 1st, a clip captioned 'Exoskeleton Trial' shows a soldier walking on a treadmill in what appears to be a stress test. He is wearing full combat gear on top of the titanium exoskeleton, including helmet, rifle, field pack and load-bearing vest.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) confirmed that the army is studying the use of an exoskeleton to improve soldier performance: "The Singapore Army is constantly looking for ways to enhance the performance of our soldiers, and the exoskeleton is one such example that the Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance (CESP) is studying." The CESP, set up in 2017, helps to develop the full potential of soldiers in areas like fitness and nutrition, pre-habilitation and rehabilitation, resilience and soldier systems.

The UPRISE® is expected to be distributed in the Singapore Army to specialized units that do heavy lifting over long distances, notably anti-tank infantry and special forces operators.

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the website of Channel News Asia

CLICK HERE to view the 'Exoskeleton Trial' clip in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day 2020 video

 


 

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


 

Mawashi recruITED TO participATE IN A prestigiOUS program

2020-06 | Mawashi Science & Technology is one of 11 companies selected by the Government of Canada to participate in the Canadian Technology Accelerator – Boston / Cambridge (CTA-Boston). The company from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, aspires to find investors who will accelerate the commercialization of its exoskeleton, whose technology has been developed for use in other fields than the military.

Article published on June 4th, 2020 in Le Canada Français, a daily newspaper distributed in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec (the second oldest French-language newspaper in North America).

The CTA-Boston is a program which takes place from May to November and which connects Canadian companies working in the technology and life sciences sector with American investors, strategic partners and customers.

"This is an important program and it takes place in Boston because it is a very important hub in terms of investments in high technology", explains Alain Bujold, the Chief Executive Officer of Mawashi Science & Technology.

The program is located in the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), home to 2,000 technology and life science companies, said Jean-Marc Sheitoyan, Chief Strategy Officer at Mawashi. Note also the presence of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). There are also 90 venture capital and angel investors with a budget of $50B. Finally, a mentoring program is dedicated to participating companies.

CLICK HERE to read the full article (in French) on the website of the magazine Le Canada Français


 

Investigating the change in energy expenditure before and after familiarization with a passive load-bearing exoskeleton: A case series

2020-02 | Scientific Poster presentation by Mr. Gabriel Diamond-Ouellette, M.Sc., Biomechanical Kinesiologist and Ph.D. Student at Laval University, at the 5th International Congress on Soldiers' Physical Performance (ICSPP2020) that was held on 11-14 February 2020 in Quebec City.

This poster presents results from the second phase of a 3-year collaborative research agreement between Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation et en intégration sociale (CIRRIS) (Laval University), and Mawashi Science & Technology.

This study supports the importance of familiarization periods upon provision of a load-bearing exoskeleton to minimize the energetic cost (EC) of locomotion (cost of transport) with both for expert and naïve users. Integrating a familiarization period can optimize use of a new device and permit the user to enhance efficient coordination patterns during walking. Given the variability among walking speeds with and without the exoskeleton, evaluations should consider individual users and the exoskeleton as one system.

This study concludes that with adequate familiarization, exoskeletons can reduce the energetic cost of locomotion during walking with loads between 26lb and 84lb (12-38Kg).

CLICK HERE to view the Scientific Poster in PDF format


 

'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

 

 

 


 

Mawashi's UPRISE® EXOSKELETON featured in the 2019 Bastille Day Military Parade in Paris, France

2019-07 | Mawashi Science & Techology was invited by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces to demonstrate its UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton during the Bastille Day Military Parade on July 14, 2019 on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

This event took place  in front of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and his guests of honor, the heads of state of the following European countries: Germany, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Spain and The United Kingdom.

In 2019, the theme of Defense Innovation was integrated into the national day of July 14 during the initial animation on the Place de la Concorde in the morning, as well as for the public relations operation in the afternoon, on the esplanade des Invalides.

Innovation, one of the four axes set by the 2019-2025 Military Programming Law, is a major challenge for the Ministry of the Armed Forces. Its ambitions are illustrated through the Defense Innovation Policy Document (DOID), produced by the Defense Innovation Agency, in conjunction with the armed forces, directorates and services.

Of the 4,299 soldiers, 196 vehicles, 67 airplanes, 40 helicopters and 237 horses that paraded that day, the first two individuals were Mawashi's test operators wearing the UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton.

CLICK HERE to view the video of the military parade's first segment on Defense innovation which highlights Mawashi's UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton

 


 

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


 


5th NATO Integration of the exoskeleton in the battlefield (IEB) workshop

2019-09 | Mawashi participates in the 5th NATO Exoskeleton Workshop that was held on 17-19 September 2019 in Trenčín, Slovakia.

The overall aim of the NATO Integration of the Exoskeleton in the Battlefield (IEB) project was to inform the 30 NATO member countries about the state of the art of Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation (EHPA) technologies. Specific objectives included: Organizing demonstrations, improving technology awareness to demystify the exoskeleton technology, identify potential interoperability and standardization lines of development, creating an open dialog in the NATO military and industrial community, and developing a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) of exoskeletons in the battlefield.

Led by the NATO Explosive Ordnance Disposal Center of Excellence (EOD COE), the project lasted over a period of 2 years, from 2017 to 2019. It included 5 workshops and 2 extensive user trial sessions supervised by the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine (MILMED COE).

The project was financed by NATO's Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT POW), and was run in cooperation with the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA). Participant nations included Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, the Slovak Republic, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The focus of this 5th workshop was to finalize the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document relating to exoskeleton technologies currently available on the market.


 

With Exoskeletons, will humans become bionic?

2019-05 | Exoskeletons, futuristic structural frames, begin to conquer industry and medicine. Will they live up to their promises?

Article published on May 16th, 2019 in the Québec Science magazine, the privileged link between the research community and the general public which tackles all questions relating to science and technology and takes a scientific look at the major current issues.

In the laboratory of the Mawashi company in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Alex, an athletic former soldier dressed in camouflage, runs on a treadmill under the watchful eye of a kinesiologist. Several sensors placed on his knees, torso and legs are connected to a monitor. Over the former soldier’s clothing, a prototype of the UPRISE® exoskeleton helps distribute the weight of the backpack he is wearing while sparing his spine.

The exoskeleton designed by Mawashi is made of titanium rods which descend along the legs of the former soldier and are attached to a sliding belt. This belt is attached, in the back, to an articulated structure resembling a spine on which the backpack can be hung. The suit fluidly follows the soldier's movements.

Exoskeletons, whose name refers to insect shells and which can be motorized or not (like the UPRISE®), have the capacity to relieve the constraining postures and pain associated with repetitive movements in all sectors of activity, from handling to line work. In addition to reducing musculoskeletal disorders, they promise to improve human performance and productivity by speeding up or increasing the strength of workers. For example, Ford, Boeing and Toyota recently adopted, in certain factories, these "bionic workers" (...)

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


 

4th NATO Integration of the exoskeleton in the battlefield (IEB) workshop

2019-04 | Mawashi participates in the 3rd NATO Exoskeleton Workshop that was held on 15-17 April 2019 in Trenčín, Slovakia.

The objective of the NATO Integration of the Exoskeleton in the Battlefield (IEB) project was to inform the 30 NATO member countries about the state of the art of Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation (EHPA) technologies.

The 4th IEB workshop was divided into two parts: User trials of exoskeletons and the writing session. During the trials three (3) exoskeleton prototypes were tested in the experimental/trial area: Mawashi from Canada, Plica from Bulgaria and MechLab from Italy.


 

Live Interview on the TV Show Salut Bonjour (TVA Network)

2018-11 | The dream of an exoskeleton which could help soldiers carry heavy loads without getting injured is approaching, and it is a Canadian company from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Mawashi Science & Technology, which is in pole position of a market evaluated at "billions and billions of dollars".

Live interview on November 14th, 2018 on Salut Bonjour, a Quebec daily morning TV show broadcasted on the TVA network since 1990.

"A third of soldiers evacuated from Afghanistan and Irak had not suffered combat injuries. Rather, they had suffered damage, particularly to the back, due to the excessive weight placed on their shoulders. It costs the U.S. military $500M a year to care for soldiers injured because they were carrying too much weight", said Alain Bujold, chief executive officer and chief technology officer at Mawashi. With years of specialization in research and engineering for “everything that goes on the human body”, Mawashi took a closer look at exoskeletons in 2013.

CLICK HERE to view the full interview video (in French) on the website of the TV show Salut Bonjour


 

3rd NATO Integration of the exoskeleton in the battlefield (IEB) workshop

2018-10 | Mawashi participates in the 3rd NATO Exoskeleton Workshop that was held on 17-19 October 2018 within the Future Forces Forum (FFF) in Prague, Czech Republic.

The objective of the NATO Integration of the Exoskeleton in the Battlefield (IEB) project was to inform the 30 NATO member countries about the state of the art of Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation (EHPA) technologies.

The aim of the 3rd IEB workshop was to review the MMRs, discuss the results of the live demonstrations carried out in Belgium, conduct further demos, develop an initial draft of CONOPS, and review the Project Roadmap. A series of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic took the floor.


 

Military Equipment: An innovation from Quebec takes on a huge market

2018-10 | Headline article in the newspaper La Presse

The UPRISE® Exoskeleton developed by Mawashi can remove up to 70% of the weight carried by a soldier from his own skeleton. The structure conforms to the body, but is not motorized, which is a significant advantage, according to Mr. Bujold, since soldiers can be assigned to very long missions without fear of running out of batteries, and without having to carry these batteries.

"More and more, the fighting is taking place in urban areas, which means that vehicles cannot be used to transport equipment," he adds. And there is more and more equipment for communications."

"The goal is not to carry more weight," he warns. It’s about reducing injuries and helping to carry that weight."

Last March, Mawashi was invited by NATO to demonstrate the benefits that the UPRISE® could bring to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists, who must put on a protective suit that alone weighs a hundred pounds.

CLICK HERE to read the full article (in French) on the website of the newspaper La Presse


 

Canadian soldiers test Mawashi's UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton during the 2018 Contested Urban Environment Experiment in Montreal

2018-09 | Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) soldiers conduct user trials with Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton during the 2018 Contested Urban Environment (CUE 18) Experiment in the streets of Montreal.

The Contested Urban Environment 2018 experiment (CUE 18) is a five-nation cooperative defence science and technology experiment taking place between September 10 and 21, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec.

The first Contested Urban Environment experiment took place in November 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. Two additional experiments are being planned for 2019 (US) and 2020 (UK). CUE experiments support Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, by helping achieve excellence across the full spectrum of military operations, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to peacekeeping or combat.

CUE 18 aims to investigate new and emerging technologies that could improve the effectiveness of military personnel operating in complex urban environments while reducing risk to both military forces and civilians. The experiment is part of a multi-year program that operates under the auspices of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP), which brings together the defence science communities of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Led by the Department of National Defence’s (DND) science and technology organization, Defence and Research Development Canada (DRDC), CUE 18 will involve over 250 participants including defence researchers from the participating nations as well as military personnel from the 2nd Canadian Division.

The Canadian Army exploits DRDC science and technology (S&T) to anticipate evolving threats and support the development of its future capabilities. DRDC aims to enable the Canadian Army’s soldiers and enhance the capabilities of their platforms in order to conduct operations in complex and hostile environments.

The Soldier program aims to enhance soldier operational effectiveness by increasing protection, situational awareness, weapons effects, mobility, self-sufficiency and resilience while limiting physical and cognitive soldier burden, within an integrated, human-centric soldier system.

VIDEO: Canadian military scientists test new equipement on Montreal streets

CLICK HERE for more information on the 2018 Contested Urban Environment Experiment (CUE 18)


 

2nd NATO Integration of the exoskeleton in the battlefield (IEB) workshop

2018-03 | Mawashi participates in the 2nd NATO Exoskeleton Workshop that was held on 6-8 March 2018 at Military Base Maj Housiau Quartier Peutie, Vilvoorde, Belgium.

The objective of the NATO Integration of the Exoskeleton in the Battlefield (IEB) project was to inform the 30 NATO member countries about the state of the art of Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation (EHPA) technologies.

The aim of the 2nd workshop was to investigate and prove how the Exoskeleton Technology currently available in the market may apply direct assistance to the EOD operations and how it can support and enhance the EOD team mobility, endurance, precision on target and increase the payload capacity. During the workshop, MMRs were reviewed and two live trials were executed, when EOD teams conducted IEDD and CMD action using Exoskeleton Technologies. This successful event ended at the NATO Headquarters (HQ), where the concept of the project as well as current achievements were presented during the meeting of National Armament Directors Representatives (NADREP).


 

 

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege: Ubisoft Six Invitational esports World Championship

2018-02 | Cosplay performance by Mawashi’s test operator wearing the UPRISE® Tactical Exoskeleton

SIX Invitational is an annual professional eSports tournament for Rainbow Six Siege and hosted by Ubisoft, the game's developer and publisher. Located in Montreal, home of the Ubisoft studio working on the game, the tournament gathers the best teams from all around the world. The event marks the end of previous year and acts as an informal World Cup.

Beyond a tournament, the Six Invitational is a celebration of the Rainbow Six community. The event features developer panels on the game and the esports scene, as well as renowned content creators from the community.

The pinnacle of the Rainbow Six Siege competitive year sees the world’s best teams compete to be crowned World Champions. Throughout the year, all participating players and coaches have tirelessly worked towards one purpose: be the last team standing on-stage to lift the coveted hammer at the end of competition.

The teams Evil Geniuses and PENTA Sports came into the 2018 SIX Invitational Grand Final looking to claim the title of world champion. The North American squad of Evil Geniuses looked to defend their title from last year, while the European powerhouse of PENTA Sports was out to prove that they are the very best team in the world.

In a grand finals match that fans will not soon forget, PENTA Sports was able to overcome adversity with a 3-2 match victory and title of world champions. With a grand final of this magnitude, it is safe to say that Rainbow Six Siege has a very strong future in the esports industry.

 

 

 

 

 


 

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


 

1st NATO Integration of the exoskeleton in the battlefield (IEB) workshop

2017-11 | Mawashi participates in the 1st NATO Exoskeleton Workshop that was held on 14-15 November 2017 in Trenčín, Slovakia.

The objective of the NATO Integration of the Exoskeleton in the Battlefield (IEB) project was to inform the 30 NATO member countries about the state of the art of Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation (EHPA) technologies.

The initial workshop held in Trenčín, Slovakia, set the general framework to draft the NATO Minimum Military Requirements (MMR) for Exoskeletons in support of EOD operators and highlighted the initial requirements and issues for their integration in EOD operations.


 

Australia's Diggerworks studies Mawashi's UPRISE® Passive Load-Bearing Exoskeleton

2017-08 | The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Diggerworks division is undertaking a feasibility study to determine the potential utility of a passive exoskeleton for ADF dismounted close combatants.

The intended purpose of the system is to transfer the weight burden of the soldiers’ carried equipment directly to the ground, helping the dismounted soldier arrive at their destination less fatigued and ready for battle.

As part of the exoskeleton trial, participants were fitted with a surrogate suit made of 3D printed plastic. The surrogate suit was fitted to ensure measurements were correct prior to manufacturing titanium suits.

CLICK HERE to read the full article on the website of Soldier Systems Daily