Firefighters have one of the toughest jobs in the world. They risk their lives on a daily basis to save others. Try running up numerous flights of stairs without holding anything in your hands and you will feel a stitch in your side very soon. Firefighters have to do the same but have to do so while carrying heavy equipment needed to extinguish a blazing fire.
Specialist vehicle manufacturer Trigen Automotive worked with Singapore’s Civil Defense Force to develop Auberon. It is a purely mechanical exoskeleton designed to take the load out of carrying emergency equipment up to fires. According to Trigen, the breathing apparatus, hose lines, nozzles, power tools, and other similar tools can add around 40 kg of weight for a fireman.
This equipment is not so much of a burden when it is mounted to the Auberon Pneumatic Exoskeleton’s specially designed frame. The Auberon suit has two 6.8 liters compressed air tanks that power the exoskeleton. This is enough to get a firefighter up and down 12 stories of stairs and still have a little to spare.
The design is such that the firefighter has his hands free to put out the fire and at the same time reducing the burden on the shoulders and back. This is done by passing the weight through the exoskeleton and into the ground via a footplate. The pneumatic pistons on the legs help the firefighters get into stride and should they need to escape from the suit, there is a quick release mechanism as well.
“Auberon demonstrates Trigen Automotive’s recognition of the essential and demanding work carried out by firefighters worldwide,” said the company’s Lim Joo Siang. “We have worked very closely with emergency services to understand their challenges on the ground and engineered a reliable solution that mitigates the harsh conditions faced by firefighters in high-rise firefighting.”