Sprains and strains are the most common type of injury in the construction industry. The ‘breakers’ used today allow workers to demolish horizontal concrete or asphalt surfaces that often exceed 25 kgs. This combination of a heavy load, awkward body positions, repetitive lifting and chisel jamming makes working with these tools extremely strenuous. More often than not, this type of work can lead to various musculoskeletal complications and diseases. Furthermore, without proper breathing protection hazardous dust particles can cause permanent lung damage and even fatal respiratory diseases.

Inspiration and Method

I used a user-centered design approach to collaborate closely with professional construction workers; conducting field interviews, observations and hands-on demolition work. Throughout the project I also worked closely with designers and engineers from Atlas Copco. The 1:1 mock-ups were an important part of the design process and enabled me to explore and test principles and functional prototypes with professional users.


The AIR-X1 is an inherently effortless and ergonomic drilling experience enabled by a supportive wheel design, that changes the ‘breaker’ tool landscape. The enhanced manuverability, accessible transportation, and jam prevention, brings the risk of musculoskeletal disorders down to a minimum. The hydraulic wheel function is controlled by advanced sensors in the handles, which allows for users to operate the tool as an extension of their arm/body movements. The handles have an anti-vibration system and also collect a vibration log, that can be accessed by connecting to AIR-X1 via an smart phone app. An integrated high-pressure water mist system keeps airborne hazardous dust particles at a minimum.