Hilti Reveals New EXO-T-22 Backpack for “Zero Gravity” Tool Use (Video)

Hilti has expanded its exoskeleton products for reducing strain on workers using handheld concrete power tools with its new EXO-T-22 Tool Balancer.

The device weighs 17 pounds and is worn like a backpack. It is designed for use with tools weighing up to 37 pounds, such as breakers, rotary hammers, concrete drills and chippers, for working at head to hip height.

Hilti says the device gives the worker a “zero gravity like state” for handling concrete tools on heavy demolition jobs to reduce upper-body strain. The bulk of the weight is distributed to the device’s hip belt. The right shoulder strap has a remote control for lowering and raising the tool. When the tool is switched off or the battery dies, the EXO-T-22 will automatically, slowly send the tool down.

worker wearing Hilti EXO-T-22 tool balancer backpack drills into concrete columnHilti’s new EXO-T-22 can hold tools weighing up to 37 pounds.HiltiAccording to Hilti, the device “improves ergonomics to reduce fatigue, shoulder strain and lower back pain from repetitive and continuous hours of work.” It lists these uses for the EXO-T-22:

  • Continuous or repetitive tasks toward the wall from knee to head level.
  • Increased drilling angles – over-shoulder drilling and increased drilling range possibilities.
  • Demolition – supports heavy demolition and rotary hammers during horizontal wall breaking, bushing and chipping.
  • Serial drilling – supports rotary hammers during hole drilling for rebar and rock anchors.

The EXO-T-22 runs on Hilti’s Nuron 22V battery system, which powers the raising and lowering of the tool as well as its automatic balancing. The same type of battery is used to power the tools. It is designed to be a completely cordless system. The EXO-T-22 retails for $1,999.

static photo white background Hilti EXO-T-22 tool balancerThe Hilti EXO-T-22 runs on the 22V Nuron battery system. The battery is snapped into place in the opening near the hip belt.HiltiIn a company how-to video, special tool holders are placed on the hand tools that will be used to attach to the EXO-T-22, such as Hilti’s TE 700-AVR breaker hammer.

The EXO-T-22 top bar folds out over the worker’s head. The battery is snapped into place on the EXO-T-22, and the backpack is then put on. With the remote control on the shoulder strap, the worker lowers the cord to attach to the tool. Once the tool is attached, the remote control is used to raise it into position.

Workers who tested the EXO-T-22 in a Hilti promotional video praised how it made work much easier on demolition projects. They said it also increased production, precision and safety.

“It was basically holding up the hammer for me, and I let the hammer do the work,” said Chris Barth, Lloyds Construction Services, in the video.

“It keeps you more balanced,” added co-worker Jose Rumbo. “You’re not pushing your whole weight onto the chipper.”

To watch the full video, see below: