Understanding the human body articulations (joints)
Some internet sources state that the human anatomy has from 200 to 360 joints, and that the average adult human has 206 bones. Also, what constitutes a "joint" is problematic: As an example, the human skull is made up of a number of bony plates that knit together along their edges into a permanently fused structure that we often think of as a single unit. Do we count each of those plates and where they meet each distinct other plate as a "joint"? Consequently, there is no simple or reliable answer to this question. The number is certainly in the range of the mid-200s to the mid-300s.
It is to say that Exoskeleton Personal Protection Equipment (EPPE) will need many articulations to compensate for all the human joints that need to articulate. Furthermore, adding complete external coverage will need a type of retracting/extendable apparatus to function properly.
To explain this let us look at an example joint like the knee area: A protection device would need 360 degrees coverage to protect adequately against IED, CBRN, or other threats. The covering protection device would need the ability for the outer segment (the front of the knee) to retract and the inner segment (back of the leg) to extend simultaneously while stepping forward and vice versa on the return of the leg, (while finding a way to manage the side excess material). The more the limb bends, the more the ratio of retracting/extendable changes and the more the design must manage this factor. Consequently if the legs need to bend in a kneeling position, the front segment must now expand 3 times more than during a walk/run scenario. Additionally on the back of the leg material must not impede comfort because as a result too much material will bunch-up behind the knee making a lump.
Knee protections often move or shift. Because of this periodic effect the individual ease and range of motion will be sometime more or less impeded if low amounts of flex are present. Again the solution for good quality functional PPE and EPPE is to add multiple joint systems which will help maintain the ease and range of motion when equipment shifts and moves while the human performs complex motions while bouncing, jumping, and running etc.
Superior Knee & Elbow Protection
During operational & tactical maneuvers, the soldier quickly changes position from standing, running, kneeling on one or booth knees, crawling, or laying prone. His knees, elbows and shoulders are constantly hitting the ground, some rocks, walls, and other sharp edges. The current knee pads issued to the soldiers turn, twist, and fall down along the leg. These pads offer generally poor mobility & flexibility at the joints.
Mawashi developped Revolutionnary Tactical Knee & Elbows Pads that are extremely extremely Mobile & Flexible. Our Biomimetics approach helped study the mecanisms behind the shell of the Lobster Tail. We then applied these principles to design a Protection that enhances the Range & Ease of Motion.
The Knee & Elbow Pads are made of a High Performance Impact Dampening Foam covered by an abrasion resistant textile. Over the joint section, there is Overlapping Rigid Plates in High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). An elastic and adjustable retention System stabilizes the protection during movements and impacts.