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Logistics 4.0

Ikea is testing a German exoskeleton

Wearing the power suit from German Bionic, they almost look like Superman just before he takes off. But the Ikea employees at the logistics site in Dortmund are testing whether the exoskeleton actually takes the strain off their backs and prevents injuries.

26 Sep. 2019
HMI-ID09-016ds_GermanBionic
GBS German Bionic Systems GmbH/Mert Dürümoglu

German Bionic claims to be one of the first European manufacturers to be developing and producing exoskeletons for use in industrial production. Since July 2019 models of the Cray X type have been in use in the logistics center of the furniture manufacturer Ikea: there they are intended to help employees lift heavy loads. Another aim is to optimize working processes by avoiding the wrong body postures. The power suits are driven by electric motors and also distribute the load to less sensitive areas than the lower back and pelvic girdle. As yet, there is no information about the results of the test.

As with any new technology, it is not yet clear what opportunities and risks exoskeletons will bring to industry in the long term. As heise.de reports , industrial health and safety experts are skeptical as to whether the devices will have a positive effect on the movements of employees in continuous use. Their intrinsic weight could also lead to new stresses.

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