Exoskeletons make jobs more ergonomic
Since 2012, Ottobock has been researching innovative solutions to make jobs in industry, logistics and the trade sector more ergonomic. The goal is to provide relief for people who perform physically demanding tasks such as overhead work, thereby creating healthier working conditions. To this end, the med-tech company founded its Bionic Exoskeletons business area at the beginning of 2018. The team draws on Ottobock’s more than 100 years of expertise in biomechanics and orthopaedics in the development of new products. The first product segment at Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons consists of “exoskeletons”, which are used to carry out work overhead and above shoulder height.
The Paexo Shoulder exoskeleton was designed for use in industrial applications, for example by automobile manufacturers, in airplane hangars and shipyards, trade enterprises or logistics companies. In these settings, Paexo Shoulder supports people who carry out physically demanding tasks on a daily basis, such as overhead work in assembly.
Workers wear Paexo Shoulder close to their body, similar to a backpack. When they raise their arms, the forearm pads transfer this weight to the hips thanks to mechanical cable pull technology. This provides noticeable relief for the muscles and joints in the shoulder region. Paexo Shoulder thereby reduces critical physical strain during work. This type of preventive relief could reduce the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the shoulder region over the long term. These disorders are the most common cause for inability to work in Germany and Europe, and therefore a significant cost factor for companies and healthcare systems.
Comfortable overhead work
Paexo Shoulder is a passive exoskeleton that does not require an energy supply. This makes it especially lightweight – in fact, it is the lightest exoskeleton of its kind, weighing in at less than two kilograms. The product design is based on natural human movements. Users can walk, sit and also pick up objects with the exoskeleton. It can be worn comfortably for more than eight hours while providing noticeable relief for the shoulders and arms during overhead work.