ZeroG Arm Technology Transfer to DoD Depots to Reduce Injuries and Reduce the Cost of Maintenance

NCMS Project #: 140506

Problem: Productivity and quality of corrosion prevention and control tasks at depots could be increased by implementing applications of zeroG (mechanical arm) arm systems to reduce injuries and increase productivity.


  • Data collected in regard to productivity/ergonomic and business case implications will help all depots to reduce total ownership cost (TOC).
  • Application to reduced (TOC) efforts:  Much of the maintenance done at DoD depots is performed by handheld tools. ZeroG technology is a fundamental redefinition of the relationship between the worker and the tool, where the physical strength of the worker is no longer a factor. Primary reduction of costs expected by increased productivity and reduced incidence of injury.
  • Confirmation of expected quality improvements and reduced rework:  Initial testing found that the reduction in effort, thus reduction in fatigue, resulted in improved quality of work.
  • This technology has direct applicability to all DoD maintenance activities.

Solution/Approach: By making the tools effectively weightless, the technology can boost productivity, reduce injuries, and improve quality. Each depot will assess safety, health, productivity benefits and prioritize operation uses with the highest return on investment.

This project is focused on technology transfer from industry to DoD depots. The project will examine how the zeroG arm system can reduce injuries and increase productivity. The scope of the test will depend on a specific application for the depot to improve productivity; for example, waterjet hand lance, overhead grinding, media blasting.

Equipois Inc. produces a series of unpowered arms (zeroG) that allows tools, parts and other payloads to be maneuvered as if weightless, but with complete freedom of motion. These commercially available systems are already employed by the automotive, commercial aerospace, and defense industries.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduced cycle time for complex manufacturing process.
  • Significant cost savings.
  • More effective allocation of resources.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy (FRC Southwest)
  • U.S. Navy NAVAIR (FRC East)
  • U.S. Army Aviation
  • U.S. Army (Red River)
  • U.S. Army (Tobyhanna)
  • U.S. Air Force (OC-ALC)

Industry Participation:

  • Equipois Inc.
  • NCMS

Final Report