Application-Oriented Exoskeleton Research

In logistics processes such as palletizing and order picking, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are becoming increasingly common due to work-related forced postures, one-sided physical strain and incorrect movement patterns. The resulting high level of sick leave is challenging companies. Exoskeletons offer the potential to relieve employees from physically demanding work tasks.

In recent years, the exoskeleton market has experienced a veritable boom. Expectations are high, but there has still not been any evidence of their effectiveness in operational work processes. In order to investigate the effects of the technology in terms of acceptance, wearing comfort and the performance of employees, laboratory studies with different exoskeletons are carried out within the research project Innovationlab Hybrid Services in Logistics. Previous results confirm a subjectively experienced relief during palletizing with exoskeleton, but also show the relevance of easy handling and high freedom of movement. These and other parameters have a significant influence on the experienced effectiveness and contribute to an acceptance of the technology.