Equipois, a Los Angeles developer of assisted-support devices for the prevention of repetitive stress injury, is partway through raising a $1.5 million first round, VentureWire reports (subscription required). The company plans a larger $10 million round by the end of this year.

Equipois is adapting the technology behind the Steadicam to develop an ergonomic “arm” that can hold objects and perform repetitive tasks without fatiguing or injuring the user. Here’s how the company describes it:

Equipois Inc. seeks to apply its revolutionary ergonomic arm technology to empower human ability. An Equipois arm, developed and patented by legendary inventor Garrett Brown, holds an object in “equipoise” – perfect balance – so that it weighs virtually nothing for the person utilizing it. This means that a worker on an assembly line can hold an eight-pound tool as if weightless; a surgeon can perform a six-hour operation without exhaustion from supporting her own arm; and heavy machinery can be positioned perfectly, as if in zero gravity, with virtually the same exertion as lifting a pen.

The company expects to close its first round with investments from family and individual investors within three months.