Pennsylvania Patent of the Month – March 2022

Whether you’re on a long hike or walking around campus, a backpack is likely your best friend, conveniently carrying everything you need. Unfortunately, it also likely starts to hurt after a while. A backpack that isn’t used properly can cause back problems or even injury. Here’s how: By putting a heavy weight on your shoulders in the wrong way, the weight’s force can pull you backward. So people who carry heavy backpacks sometimes lean forward. This forward lean comes with its own negative impacts as well. 

Hoverglide, Inc. previously developed a suspended load ergonomic backpack which reduces the forces applied to your body. Now, they’ve improved it. Hoverglide’s Dr. Lawrence Rome, an expert in muscle function and biomechanics, developed Suspended Load Technology (SLT), allowing the carried load to move up and down with the backpack carrier. SLT keeps the load at a constant height with respect to the ground. 

This SLT technology reduces the static weight of a backpack by as much as 86%. This is incredibly important in more intensive conditions – like when military personnel need to carry backpacks on a mission. A 50 lb backpack exerts 50 lbs of force or static weight when standing still. As soon as you start walking or running, the peak force applied to you can be tripled. 

The improvements recently made make it easier to tension the bungee cord as well as adjustments to height of the frame and so on. This was achieved using a tensioning device with a ratchet crank mechanism. This gives the carrier the needed mechanical advantage to tension the bungee whether wearing the backpack or not. An automatic locking mechanism then ensures the backpack will not move out of position. Hoverglide continually strives to improve their devices and save your back.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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