News & Press Releases

Mawashi's Exoskeleton Featured on the Cover Page of the Masonry Magazine in the U.S.

"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

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.

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 $ 50 billion. 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


With Exoskeletons, will humans become bionic?

Exoskeletons, futuristic armatures, begin to conquer industry and medicine. Will they live up to their promises?

Article published on May 16, 2019 in the Québec Science magazine. A privileged link between the research community and the general public, Québec Science 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


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

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".

"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


Newspaper article in the headlines (LA PRESSE)

Military Equipment: An Innovation from Quebec takes on a Huge Market

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 La Presse+