By site editor Dan Chung:
One of the stand out innovations at IBC this year was the mechanical exoskeleton from french manufacturer L’Aigle The contraption is essentially two iso-elastic stabilising arms strapped to your body and also your arms. The exoskeleton allows the large weights to be lifted with virtually no strain placed on the biceps. All the weight is transferred to the hips and legs via the vest.
The exoskeleton allows operators of brushless gimbals to hold and move with their rigs for long periods without fatiguing. Another advantage is that the exoskeleton stabilises the vertical movement of the gimbal – reducing the effect of footfall on the rig when walking.
The downsides are that the exoskeleton has a limited range of movement (although it covers all the usual ways a gimbal would be held) and also adds width to your body – making it harder to get through doors.
These limitations are a small price to pay though if you are planning to spend long hours shooting with a gimbal. The version we saw is still a prototype and improvements will surely come.
The exoskeleton makes an interesting alternative to options like the Flowcine Serene/Easyrig combination where the rig is suspended from above the operator via a bar attached to a vest. It will be interesting to see which of these becomes the more favoured approach for gimbal operators in the future.
Projected price for the Exoskeleton is a reasonable 2000 Euros.