If you asked me 3 years ago, I’d give a different answer than today. But recent scientific studies and user/industry reports have taught us a lot. We’re entering a new era. Let’s dive in… 🧵
3 years ago, my answer would have been:
❓ Potentially, based on laboratory #biomechanics & controlled field studies.
Now I’d upgrade the answer to:
✅ Yes, if you can match the right type of exoskeleton or exosuit to the right job. And implement it appropriately.
I’ve been deeply involved in occupational exoskeleton R&D, implementation, field testing, entrepreneurship, & standards for 5 years.
So I come at this from various perspectives.
Here’s what I’m seeing…
1. Ford found the probability of medical visits decreased by 52%
• 65 workers wore shoulder exos
• Workers were tracked for 18 months
• Exos helped with overhead work on assembly lines
2. Ergonomic tool projects 20-60% reduction in lower back disorder (LBD) risk
• Back exos were assessed for material handling
• Exos reduce LBD risk by an amount similar to lift tables
• Lift tables were previously found to reduce workplace injuries
Bonus: Check out this interactive calculator:
3. Toyota reported lower injuries and reduced workers‘ compensation costs
• Shoulder exoskeletons were used for auto manufacturing
• Strong safety culture was credited as a top contributor to the success
Great insights throughout this video:
4. Field studies report lower work-related discomfort
• Discomfort is often used as a leading indicator of injury risk
• Companies track how discomfort changes with exo use
Insurance provider SAIF found a 73% reduction in back discomfort with exosuits:
5. Scientific studies reinforce expectation that exos can reduce injury risk
• New exoskeleton studies are published monthly
• Lots of corroborating data about injury reduction potential
• And good insights on how to improve designs
6. User feedback provides corroborating evidence
• I’ve never been one to look at testimonials in a vacuum
• But user feedback is important & useful
• It complements scientific/industry reports
And it reminds us why we work on exos in the first place: it’s about people!
Yes, exos can reduce musculoskeletal injury risks based on converging evidence.
There are now a handful of longitudinal studies/reports showing exos have reduced injuries, or leading indicators of injuries, at work.
But proper implementation and safety culture are key.
Quelle: LinkedIn (18.10.2022)