New technology can make manual labor easier
Workers in the industrial, the logistics and the construction sectors suffer from various injuries and sick leave rates are high, and these are real problems. EksoVests, a type of exoskeletons, can reduce muscle strain by 60% for workers and could be an important part of the solution if they are used more.
Exoskeleton can be described as an extra, intelligent skeleton that is attached to the outside of the body via a suit. This type of robotic suit gives extra strength and endurance to the wearer. While it may sound like science fiction, the fact is that the technology already exists and is being used, for example in car assembly. The result is that sickness absenteeism is reduced and productivity increases.
The technology has the potential to improve the lives of many workers; they can benefit from having their workload reduced very much and from feeling less tired on returning home from work. In addition, the burden on healthcare can be reduced, as the risk of injury and wear and tear is significantly lower when using exoskeletons for assembly work.
In a recent study, 25 subjects tested the EksoVest, a type of exoskeleton for the upper body, while performing various drilling tasks. By using sensors, the researchers were able to measure muscle effort, which was reduced by up to 60% when the subjects were wearing EksoVests.
Statistics from car manufacturer show that sick leave was reduced by 85% when workers wore EksoVests.