Levitate Technologies

For the past six months I have been in touch with Joseph Zawaideh, the co-founder of a tech start up named Levitate Technologies. The company, based in San Diego, are developing an interesting harness that assists its operator in carrying or holding heavy objects and keeping them steady.  The harness is fully mechanical, using a system of springs and pulleys, and is lightweight. The first thing I asked the company was if the system would allow the operator to shoot from the prone position. They investigated my question and have determined that it would not interfere with prone shooting (nor would it help). I can see this system helping soldiers who carry heavy DMR, Sniper, LMG or GPMG small arms and would like to shoot them in the off hand, squatting, kneeling or sitting positions.

It may also help hunters who, maybe because of old age or disability, are unable to hold a rifle steady. This video demonstrates the system …

What do y’all think? Does this system have potential for shooters and military personnel? 

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • ColaBox

    Ah, so Tom Clancy’s APE-1A2 reaches its first stages of real life development.

  • Eric S

    One step closer to the smart guns from Aliens.

    • Kyle

      Just stick a 240 on a Steadicam rig. Boom.

    • Sid

      Beat me to it.

  • hkryan

    Maybe a good idea for factory workers.

  • jamezb

    Bring on the shoulder fired heavy weapons!

    • FourString

      *Austrian accent sold separately*

  • noguncontrol

    what a waste of time and money. we are better off using lighter guns, and if the nfa and the batf didn’t exist, we would all be using SBRs and SMGs with 6 to 8 inch barrels , which would be lighter than longer barreled guns. instead of tech like this, we should just abolish the nfa and batf. and i see broken arms among other injuries with tech like this.

    • Paladin

      Believe it or not there are some applications that are better suited for heavier guns and/or longer barrels.

      • Jeremy Vance

        That’s what she said. 😉

  • gunsandrockets

    Huh. In essence a exoskeleton.

    • gunslinger

      but it looks like a pure mechanical device. no batteries/electronics. so…”infinite” life

  • noob

    please support the forearm and wrist. I don’t want to injure my elbows because my shoulder is too supported.

  • Stan Maxim

    Or, maybe this could be applied to people with medical conditions that limit their carrying capacity?

  • gunslinger

    from the blip on the main page, i though you’d be able to force choke someone..

  • Alter_Ego

    Hum, I think the military I have knew so far is too conservative to adopt anything like that.
    First, soldiers are expected to do what told, follow the rules as the rules say what is doable and whatnot, and how. And don’t complain.
    Second, to adopt a device so different from anything in use, they would have to be able to see huge advantages. And I think there are not. If the thing breaks while the operator is rolling over, what happens? If the thing gets entangled, prevents movement from vehicles, blablabla?
    But definitely useful in industrial environments!!!!

    • Phil Hsueh

      With that thinking then we shouldn’t be using anything more complicated than a club because it could break down leave the operator weaponless or with a hunk of useless equipment. News flash, things can and will break and the military is full of stuff that can and will break and we’ve never let that stop us from adopting something new and potentially useful before so why stop now?

    • EstebanCafe

      Long before weapon systems find their way into your general US military, they are heavily tested and then used in the field by your special forces. If they say it won’t work, then it gets scuttled. If they do say it will work, then a colonel somewhere will request a retirement fund from the company to let it move up the lines of authority.

  • Lance

    Id say good for civilian purposes. Bad idea in combat. if it brakes down or the computer control is out. then you get stuck frozen in the exoskeleton system your wearing so good for hunters NOT for solders.

    • Formynder

      It’s just springs and pulleys, no computer control. Worst case scenario, a spring pops and then you just have some metal around your arms but nothing that would restrict movement.

    • Jake Barnes

      Did you even read the description or watch the video? Or did you just skip to trolling? 😉

  • LCON


    This is nothing new, Locmart has had HULC in testing with the Army for years, Raythion has one to. Revision Military has offered one called the Prowler. http://soldiersystems.net/2013/10/23/ausa-revision-prowler/
    Most are lower body machines. but I feel as the technology develops full body is part of the future for the Combat soldier. Particularly as war loads increase and individuals with lesser physical performance characteristics ( yes I mean Female soldiers) move closer to combat arms.

    The best Direction I see for such is development of two systems One heavy weight for use on Carriers and Airfields to handle logistics duties like loading heavy cargo arming jets and helicopters.

    the other a lightweight modular unit for use in the field. IT should be easily removed in the field Amphibious, have a long battery life, It should mount to body armor or have body armor and equipment mount to it. allow use of Parachutes or act as a harness for repelling perhaps even It should be Configurable to allow movement of heavier loads like Artillery shells, unload cases of ammo and pallets of water bottles. It should be configurable to stabilize and reduce fatigue from heavier weapons like the M249 and M240 Machine guns either though a arm system as seen or a steadicam arm as well as easily allow carry of high capacity magazines like the Tyr MICO.

    • EstebanCafe

      LOL, one shot in the wrong place and the soldier goes into spastic jumping jacks in the middle of a fire fight ?

      • LCON

        And you base this brilliant assertion on what? more likely if damaged it would just go into a Neutral and if the designers are smart they would have a quick detach system.

  • guest

    hell yes

  • Jesse P Weaver

    An unpowered exoskeleton.sorta.. Ive been wondering when something like this would get to market for a while. Seems like it could be useful and practical.

  • snake

    When I’m old and need one ,it’s nice to know that these things will be available. I’d buy one today, for the right price.

  • Doom

    Wonder why they didnt show it in use in real life, also sounds like a good way to blow a knee, back, or ankle if you are lifting something heavier than you should be. in the end your body is still fully supporting the weight as you are the base, not sturdy metal legs.

  • DustCovered6

    My first question is where is the real piece of equipment? All I see is a cartoon.

  • I’ll try anything once!

  • Phil Hsueh

    The real problem with any sort of exoskeleton system is that it won’t take long before the individual soldier or Marine is back to square one because what’s going to happen is that the military will just increase carry loads because the individual grunt can now carry more on them. So instead of carrying 100+ lbs of crap they’ll up the loads to 200+ lbs of crap and it will be just like it was before the exoskeletons.