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Industrielle Exoskelette: Die 83+ besten Exoskelette für die Industrie, Logistik, Handwerk und Pflege (2024)

Orthexo industry

Table of contents

Industrial exoskeletons as a solution for logistics, assembly, crafts, care and many other occupational sectors

Exoskelette für die Industrie: Zusammenfassung


Aktive und passive industrielle Exoskelette werden in der Industrie als Teil der Industrie 4.0 immer relevanter. Sie finden Einsatz in Bereichen, wo Automatisierung an ihre Grenzen stößt und die körperliche Belastung für Mitarbeiter sehr hoch ist. Ihre Zukunft sieht vielversprechend aus mit wachsenden Einsatzmöglichkeiten.


Industriespezifische Exoskelette:


Es gibt spezielle Exoskelette für verschiedene Industriebereiche, darunter die Lebensmittelindustrie, Metallindustrie, Logistik, Maschinenbau, Autoindustrie, Elektroindustrie und weitere Branchen wie Landwirtschaft, Montage, Handwerk, Bergbau, Mikrologistik, Last Mile Logistik und Solarbau. Diese spezifischen Anwendungen unterstreichen die vielfältigen Einsatzmöglichkeiten von Exoskeletten zur Unterstützung und Entlastung der Mitarbeiter in unterschiedlichsten Arbeitsumgebungen.


Exoskelett kaufen: Exoskelette in der Industrie, sometimes called "exosuits" (Exo Suits), "soft exos" or "exo skeleton", have gained increasing attention in recent years and represent an exciting development in the field of work ergonomics. These technological innovations, often associated with the concept of Industry 4.0 offer opportunities to improve working conditions and increase productivity in various industrial sectors. In almost all manufacturing companies, some workplaces reach the limits of automation. When employees are exposed to high physical stress, exoskeletons can provide effective relief. 


An exoskeleton is essentially a wearable device designed to assist and augment human movement. It consists of a frame or structure that surrounds the body and is equipped with motors, sensors and actuators. This technology allows users to lift heavy loads, work for extended periods without fatigue, and reduce musculoskeletal stress. In many manufacturing operations, automation systems are reaching their limits, especially when it comes to tasks that require human skills and intuition. This is where exoskeletons come into play. They offer an innovative solution to improve workers' physical abilities while reducing the risks of workplace accidents and injuries. By using exoskeletons, employees can lift and carry heavy loads with ease, resulting in a significant reduction in physical strain. This can lead to a reduction in workplace injuries and employee fatigue, which in turn has a positive impact on productivity and efficiency.


Industrial exoskeletons could disrupt / revolutionize industry the way the assembly line did. Three out of five workers in construction, industry or medium to heavy physical labor have severe back problems as a result (see studies). 35 % of the complaints are attributed to the shoulder area, 50 % even to the lower back area. Back pain, shoulder complaints, neck or knee problems - musculoskeletal disorders account for almost 25 percent of all days of incapacity to work. The reasons for this, particularly in retail and goods logistics, are stressful activities such as working overhead or frequently lifting and setting down heavy objects. In these industries in particular, this leads to a high probability of a herniated disc in the L5/S1 region. In industry, a single worker moves the weight of a Boeing 747 per week. This leads to an average of 37 days of absence per year per employee in construction or industry. All in all, these facts cause a damage of 30 billion EUR per year in Germany alone. But not only that. Industrial exoskeletons can also be used as an employee benefit and set you apart from the market as an employer. In the following guide you will find an overview of all existing industrial exoskeletons, especially exoskeletons sorted by activities (overhead exoskeletons, shoulder exoskeletons, for lifting heavy loads, etc.) and further filtered by industries. Further down you will find important information about different industries, the BGB, tips for integration into the company, criticism and empirical values.



Industrielle Exoskelette: 82+ Exoskelette für jede Berufsbranche


Im nächsten Abschnitt finden Sie alle weltweit kaufbaren industriellen Exoskelette, unterteilt nach Branchen und Körperregionen. Alternativ können Sie sich passende Exoskelette sekundenschnell anhand von bis zu 20 Fragen mit unserem Configurator anzeigen lassen. 

Exoskeletons configurator

The best industrial overhead exoskeletons for shoulder and arm relief

agade exoskeleton 1

Agadexo exoskeleton from Agade


Exoskeleton Airframe from Levitate


Ant-A1 armgestütztes Exoskelett


BESK exoskeleton from Cyber Human Systems for overhead work


CDYS Passive Shoulder Exoskeleton by Crimson Dynamics


DeltaSuit Overhead Exoskeleton from Auxivo


Ekso Evo Upper Body Exoskeleton from Ekso Bionics


Battery-powered ExoActive overhead exoskeleton from Festool


ExyOne Shoulder from Exy Exoesqueletos Industriais

Hapo front

HAPO FRONT for upper limbs from Ergosante

Download (10)

Hapo Up for work over the head of Ergosante

hilit exoskeleton

Overhead exoskeleton from Hilti for construction and handicrafts


MAPS-E active shoulder exoskeleton from ULS Robotics

MATE XT 4.0 render

MateXT 4.0 exoskeleton from Comau with IOT sensors for real-time support


Paexo Neck as neck support and relief of the cervical spine for the industry by Ottobock


Paexo Shoulder for shoulder relief for industry from Ottobock


PLUM shoulder exoskeleton from HMT

Das Schulter Exoskelett S700 erleichtert Nietverbindungen in Brusthöhe.

S700 Overhead Exoskeleton from ExoIQ


ShivaExo Upper Head Exoskeleton by ErgoSanté


Skelex 360-XFR: Exoskeleton for Overhead Work in Industrial Assembly


Exoskeleton vest VEX from Hyundai

The best industrial back exoskeletons for lifting loads / for carrying / for back relief up to 60 kg weight relief.

agade exoskeleton 1

Agadexo exoskeleton from Agade


Aldak Exoskeleton from Cyber Human Systems


ANT-W1 aktives Rücken-Exoskelett


Ant-WA1 passives Rücken-Exoskelett


Apex 2 for back relief from HeroWear


Atlas system from Exomys to carry loads over long distances

auxivo exoskeleton industry

Auxivo CarrySuit: Exoskeleton for back relief with heavy loads


Exoskeleton BackX from SuitX without battery for heavy carrying


BES-HV Electrically driven back exoskeleton from ULS Robotics


BES-P passive back exoskeleton from ULS Robotics


Biolift exoskeleton for handicraft and street work

Screenshot 2023-06-15 205317

C DYB-EP Lightweight Exoskeleton from Crimson Dynamics


Element Exo passive back exoskeleton from Element Exo Inc.


ExoAtlant Torso: Lightweight industrial exoskeleton for the lengen spine from AxoAtlet.


Exoskeleton Exoback from RB3D


Exyone Back from Exy Exoesqueletos Industriais


Guardian XO full body exoskeleton for industry and military by Sarcos Robotics.


Hector L20P for industry up to 16 kg from Hexar


JaipurBelt: Inexpensive exoskeleton from Newndra


Japet W+ exoskeletons for back pain relief in industry


Laevo Flex exoskeleton: portable chest and back support


Lumbus II back exoskeleton from JTEKT


Mate XB back exoskeleton from Comau


Wearable Exoskeleton Muscle Suit Every by Innophys


Portable exoskeleton Muscle Upper from Innophys for carrying heavy goods


OmniSuit: Multitasking exoskeleton for combined shoulder and back support during lifting and overhead work from Auxivo


Paexo Back for back relief for Ottobock warehouses and logistics centers


Soft Exo Lift from Hunic for back relief


Thorax SSM spinal support from ax-lightness for industry, emergency forces and trade


Uplift exoskeleton for the back from Mawashi


WAVE-EXOSKELETT for back relief from HMT


Y1 aktiver Lendenwirbelstütze Roboter - Rücken Exoskelett

Best Exosuits (Soft Exo Suits): Textile industrial exoskeletons for lifting loads for back relief / for carrying over longer distances up to 30 kg weight relief.


Apex 2 for back relief from HeroWear

auxivo exoskeleton industry view

Auxivo LiftSuit: Textile exoskeleton for back relief in industry

Yellow Minimalist Round Shaped Cafe Logo

BISKO Exoskelett - Textiles Exoskelett für den Rücken


Exosoft textile exoskeleton from Cyber Human Systems

ergoprotection exoskeleton

Hapo exoskeleton for transportation and gardening


Helk textile exoskeleton for nurses by Gogoa


Exoskeleton Apex by HeroWear for men and women


Exoskeleton BionicBack from HTrius


Muscle Suit Soft-Power from Innophys


Paexo Soft Back for lower back support from Ottobock

Screenshot 2023-03-01 at 12.59.49

SafeLift: Textile exoskeleton with motor from Verve Motion


Thorax SSM spinal support from ax-lightness for industry, emergency forces and trade

The best industrial exoskeletons for sitting


FX Stick exoskeleton for industrial sitting by Archelis Inc.


Exoskeleton LegX from SuitX for sitting and squatting in industry


Exoskeleton Lex Bionic Chair from Astride Bionix for sitting upright

nonee exoskeleton sitting

Noonee Chairless Chair 2.0 as a mobile seat support in industrial assembly

Exoskeletons developed for specific industries and uses (grooming, standing, floor work, etc.)


Ant-H1 Pro Walking Assist Robot


Armorman 3.0 gimbal from Tiltamax for film production


Care Exo Lift from Hunic for the care industry


EXO-T-22 Tool Balancer from Hilti for trade and demolition work


Exopush exoskeleton by RB3D for ground work


Exoviti exoskeleton for field work by RB3D


Fleairy exoskeleton for caregivers by JTEKT


Helk textile exoskeleton for nurses by Gogoa


Hypershell exoskeleton for daily adventures

Ironhand bioservo production

Ironhand by Bioservo: Hand exoskeleton for strengthening the grip hand in industry


NOAC for fatigue-free operations from Hellstern Medical


Paexo Wrist as wrist support for load handling from Ottobock


Seismic Intelligent Suit with Sensors for Wellness and Industry


Exoskeleton ShieldX from SuitX for cardiologists


Soft Exo Carry carrier for parcel carrier from Hunic


Soft Exo Hold from Hunic for relieving the back during standing work


Y1 aktiver Lendenwirbelstütze Roboter - Rücken Exoskelett

Exoskeletons in the industry:


How do industrial exoskeletons help businesses?


Companies or small businesses want to hire new employees, retain existing employees and relieve employees as well as reduce sick leave. The shortage of skilled workers is far advanced. German companies bear the costs of EUR 28.7 billion per year due to musculoskeletal illness-related days of absence. A full 44 % of all occupational groups are affected by the shortage of skilled workers. Industrial exoskeletons are part of the solution. At some point in 20 years, humanoid robots will take over these tasks and humans will increasingly merge with machines. But until then, solutions are needed that are cost-effective, practical and modern. It's not just the purchase that's critical to success, but whether employees are intrinsically motivated to use the industrial exoskeletons over the long term. Industrial exoskeletons improve employee health, work ability and business performance. Return on investment is usually achieved after 18 months, as absenteeism can be reduced by up to 25 %. Modern exoskeletons for the back relieve the spine by up to 60 %. There are more than 268 million workers worldwide in logistics, care, manufacturing, trades and assembly. Exoskeletons for logistics, for example, would be a first step in positioning the company as a modern employer. Exoskeletons in industry will develop along the lines of eBikes. First, a new technology is worn by older people, then by curious groups of people, and finally everyone recognizes the potential and advantages, so that the solution is used inflationarily. The industrial exoskeleton could therefore also become a kind of employer benefit. 


Before launch: test week & sensors for validation purposes


Before introducing exoskeletons, feel free to take advantage of existing apps from ExoIQ. With ExoIQ's app, you can determine live ergonomic loads on the physique by filming an employee's load live with a cell phone camera. This serves as an ideal basis to measure and thus evaluate the introduction to protect your employee:s. Orthexo recently started offering this service in cooperation with WearHealth. Often the decision whether to implement exoskeletons in the company is made subjectively and emotionally, but you have to explain it rationally to your manager. So the workers clearly noticed the benefit in testing, but how to mathematically recommend to the owner? In principle, we recommend two weeks of testing, which you can organize through Orthexo. During these two weeks, you test up to five exoskeletons at the same time, accompanied by us. At the beginning, two selected employees will each be fitted with three sensors (smaller than a credit card) and you will measure the load without the exoskeleton for two days. This is followed by the phase in which everyone tests and wears the exoskeletons. In our experience, it usually takes three to four days to get used to it and the benefit is at its highest, for example because your partner at home notices that you don't come home so tired anymore. However, the most important measurement data takes place in the last three days of the two test weeks. Here, the user knows the exoskeleton and its range of motion. After this test phase, Orthexo receives a test report in which the measured values with and without the exoskeleton are presented, as well as the weight moved and much more. This will then help you with your purchase decision. 


After hundreds of consultations with companies in logistics, trades and manufacturing, we have found that the expectation of exoskeletons often differs from the real benefits of implementation. Why is that? This is partly due to the media, which keeps referring to exoskeletons as a super suit. Unfortunately, there are few long-term studies for exoskeletons in which the benefits have been empirically proven over years. The technology and the degree of maturity of exoskeletons are still too new for that. In Germany, we have a different culture in companies than in China or the USA, for example. There, industrial exoskeletons are purchased and ordered to be worn. The benefits are often immediately noticeable. However, we Germans have a different mentality. Therefore, not only the purchase of the right exoskeleton is important, but also the implementation of exoskeletons in companies. Of course, it can be assumed that the musculoskeletal system of the employees is protected, the employees also notice the relief in the back and neck area when using it immediately and could theoretically work more productively. However, whether the industrial exoskeleton will be used permanently depends on the workers. Therefore, we also advise our customers regarding the implementation of industrial exoskeletons. The design plays just as important a role in whether the exoskeleton will be worn permanently as the comfort of the solution. Exoskeletons must be comfortable and you must be able to go to the bathroom with them, you must be able to do other activities with them, etc. We always recommend a test week where workers are involved. There are multipliers and first movers in every company. These must be included in the tests and they must be involved in the decision as the voice of all employees. This is the only way to ensure that the exoskeleton will be worn in the future.


Differences in industrial exoskeletons: How do industrial exoskeletons differ?

There are over 160 different features to compare when it comes to industrial exoskeletons. Of course, the price, the user's weight, the industry and the goals also play an important role, but peripheral factors must also be taken into account. How loud is an exoskeleton? Is the exoskeleton exposed to moisture in the industry? And although the exoskeleton brings tremendous benefits in the trades, we also point out the dangers (for example, can all workers provide first aid to exoskeleton users) and how to properly implement an exoskeleton in the company with all the standards and regulations. We have tested almost all the solutions ourselves, so we can give you objective recommendations. Sometimes the best exoskeletons have slight shortcomings. For example, not all back exoskeletons allow you to fill your pants pockets. So where to put your smartphone, keys, cigarettes, etc.? We therefore support you in making the right choice for your needs and recommend holistic solutions. For example, with the XY exoskeleton, you need a tool pocket.

Exoskeletons in the industry differ, for example and among others, as follows: 
  • Exoskeleton for legs, back, hand, sitting, overhead or arms
  • Industry application possibility
  • Maximum weight of the exoskeleton
  • Body height of the user
  • Water repellent as well as heat sensitivity
  • Costs
  • Individual or collective use
  • Volume
  • Battery life
  • Battery life
  • Maximum wearing time per day
  • Sales Germany / Europe / USA / Asia
  • Mechanics by electricity or compressed air
  • Collapsible / Dismantlable
  • With app or without
  • Application for a special activity or permanently wearable
  • Seating option with exoskeleton
  • Transport possibility
  • and many other attributes as selection options
Difference by user:

  • physical constitution (e.g. height, stature, performance, health) 
  • Qualifications (e.g. professional competence, understanding of ergonomics, scope of activities, position in the company) 
  • Personal preference (e.g., design, comfort, ease of use, level of support) 
  • Prior personal experience (e.g., technical affinity, comfort level, social behavior). 
  • Work routines (e.g. movements, sequences, work rhythm) 
Difference according to working environment:
  • Place (dust, space availability)
  • Culture (corporate culture, working atmosphere)
  • Climatic conditions (temperature, humidity)
Difference by model:
  • Support (e.g., drive type, mechanical and biomechanical functioning, motion and intention recognition).
  • WITH AI or sensors or without IOT
  • Support region (extremities, torso, whole body)
  • Form of support (e.g. reinforce, facilitate, stabilize or supplement movement)
  • Degree of support (e.g. force curve, application point, dynamics)
  • Type and condition (e.g. construction, hardness of structural elements, interface)
Difference according to work input:
  • Activity profiles (e.g. dynamics, posture, range of motion, work frequency, weights, variance).
  • Work equipment (e.g. tool, industrial truck, machine)
  • Occupational safety requirements from rules and regulations (prescribed PPE)
  • Design (e.g. energy supply, system connection, compatibility)
  • Handling (e.g. operation, support performance, donning and doffing, washability, decoupling during secondary activities).
  • Benefits (e.g. support or relief, supported movements)
  • Human-technology interaction (e.g., movement fidelity, freedom, size adaptation).

Ideally, we recommend the following process:


  1. Video recording of the processes in operation 
  2. Consultation by Orthexo for the purpose of selecting suitable solutions based on these videos, discussion of expectation vs. real benefits. 
  3. Consulting by Orthexo for the purpose of implementation phase
  4. Demonstration of all pre-selected exoskeletons directly at your site in just one day
  5. Organization of four test weeks with two solutions in direct comparison
  6. Purchase of five exoskeletons initially for testing for 12 weeks
  7. Consultation by Orthexo for the purpose of checking results
  8. Purchase of further solutions, depending on the results
Do you already know our premium get-to-know service?
As an employer, test the selected / different exoskeletons haptically directly at your site. The offer includes a four-week test phase at your company. You benefit from only one contact person.
Disclaimer / Risks of exoskeletons in the industry:
Please seek full and individual advice before implementing and using industrial exoskeletons. Potentially consult a company physician or a consultant for occupational health management. Many of the exoskeleton manufacturers exclude the use on ladders or driving vehicles because there are no long-term studies yet. This can result in liability risks in the event of insurance claims. Furthermore, BGM processes must be considered and documented. For example, resuscitation in the event of heart failure must also be possible as soon as an exoskeleton is worn. We are happy to support you in the process or recommend neutral and independent consultants.  

Industrial Exoskeletons FAQ

What are the best exoskeletons for overhead work? Exoskeleton work overhead

This depends on the exact use, namely how long and how often the overhead work is to be applied, respectively whether other activities are also carried out between the overhead work. Therefore, you should pay attention to how quickly the system can be activated, whether it can be worn during all activities and whether the system works with compressed air or battery, i.e. whether the external energy has to be changed between shifts. We can basically recommend the industry leader SuitX Shoulder (Paexo).

Furthermore, we recommend for painters, so an exoskeleton for painters, the Ekso EVO or the ExoIQ

Exoskeleton for logistics

Are you looking for a logistics exoskeleton? We recommend you especially exoskeleton for logistics Htrius, Hunic or Ottobock

We will be happy to assist you in the selection process.

Which exoskeletons for the lower back?

This depends on whether you are looking for a rigid exoskeleton or a textile one. We have listed both categories for you above and sorted and rated the best back exoskeletons worldwide for you.

Is there a special exoskeleton for nursing? Exoskeleton care...

This depends on whether you are looking for a rigid exoskeleton or a textile one. We have listed both categories for you above and sorted and rated the best back exoskeletons worldwide for you. We recommend in advance the Care Exo Lift from Hunicwhich was developed with handles especially for carrying female patients or the HeroWear Apex 2that Helk or the Fleairy


as a textile solution. 

Is there a special exoskeleton for medicine?

Yes, there is a medicine exoskeleton from SuitX especially for cardiologists.

Is there a special exoskeleton for the film industry?

Yes, there is a production exoskeleton from Gimbalwhich assists with camera movement.

Is there a special exoskeleton for standing or exoskeletons for standing upright?

Yes, there is the Soft Exo Hold especially for activities involving prolonged standing.

Is there a special exoskeleton for sweeping or ground work?

Yes, there is the Exoback specifically in floor work activities, for example sweeping, which is an upright forward bending application where you are guiding an object.

Is there a special exoskeleton for assembly line work or an exoskeleton for more grip strength?

Yes, the Paexo Wrist wrist system can support as well as the Ironhand from Bioservo

Which exoskeleton for heavy loads? Exoskeleton lifting aid

In industrial use, there are exoskeletons for very heavy loads. These differ from normal back systems in that they are firmly anchored to the objects, the arms are rigid or provide a support plate.

We can recommend Atlas, Muscle Upper and Auxivo Carry.

Which exoskeletons for sitting are suitable?

At the moment, there are three industry leaders as sitting support options. With exoskeletons for sitting activities, the user can see and walk around with them, as well as sit stably without straining the legs. Seated exoskeletons are suitable for prolonged sedentary work activities, for example farrier, orthopedic master, in assembly and construction. Leading are Noonee and LegX.

Where can I buy an Ottobock exoskeleton?

Contact us. We will get offers for you. 

What is the Ottobock exoskeleton price?

Ottobock Paexo exoskeleton brands start from €500 to €4,900 per unit. The Paexo cost varies depending on the product type. If you want to buy the Paexo, contact us. We will inform you about the Paexo price independent of the manufacturer and neutral. 

Are there any Paexo webinar offers?

Yes, we offer vendor-independent webinars and training.

Buy exoskeleton

Feel free to contact us. We do the bureaucracy for you, support you in the selection process and get offers for you. We have the best contacts and can therefore get you the best purchasing conditions. The service is free of charge for you. 

How much does an exoskeleton cost?

Industrial exoskeletons are much less expensive than assistive exoskeletons. The Paexo Shoulder exoskeleton from Ottobock Exoskeleton starts at EUR 1,900, the Paexo Exoskeleton Back starts at EUR 4,000 or the Apogee is available from EUR 14,500, other exoskeletons start at EUR 1,500. Please contact us. 

What does the exoskeleton market look like?

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) records strong development for exoskeletons in its annual World Robotics Study.

  • 2015: 5 000 exoskeletons
  • 2016: 6 000 exoskeletons (+ 20 %)
  • 2017: 8,100 exoskeletons (+ 35 %)
  • Further growth from 2020 42 % CAGR per year

By 2028, 300,000 systems are expected to be sold, 50 % of them in the industry. The exoskeleton Ottobock systems are leading the way here. 

Are there any criticisms of industrial exoskeletons?

The use of exoskeletons offers a solution to the physical strain on people caused by lifting and carrying heavy loads or bent postures - so-called forced postures - which can lead to health complaints among employees. The use of exoskeletons provides a solution to the physical strain on people caused by lifting and carrying heavy loads or bent postures - so-called forced postures - which can lead to health complaints among employees.  


Despite positive effects, the use of an exoskeleton at the production workplace should be carefully prepared and planned. It is important to plan the introduction together with the colleagues from the beginning, to test it together over a longer period of time, to involve the works council and the trade union and to allow enough time to try out different systems.


There are numerous applications and opportunities for exoskeletons, but the protective goal of reducing the physical strain on humans can in most cases already be achieved through ergonomic workplace design. It doesn't always have to be an exoskeleton as a solution; sometimes it makes more sense to further automate production, for example, or to solve the production step with a robotic arm. Sometimes a new version of the machine is a better choice, i.e. a modernization investment. Furthermore, one could use load manipulator, vacuum lifters, height adjustable workbenches or scissor lift tables. Exoskeleton workshop solutions can also look different.


Final testing required:


  1. Relevance check
  2. Risk assessment
  3. Check protective measures
  4. Usage test
  5. Planning the use of the exoskeleton
  6. Contact manufacturer for comparison
  7. Field test
  8. Feedback
  9. Document and evaluate
  10. Purchasing
Who would rather not wear an industrial exoskeleton?

There are certain groups of people in the industrial environment who should carefully consider whether they wish to wear an exoskeleton, as this may not be recommended in their case. These include:


  1. People with pacemakers or similar active implants should be particularly careful, as the interaction between the exoskeleton and the implant could have unforeseen effects.

  2. People with pre-existing musculoskeletal conditions in the shoulders, arms, back and hands should consider the potential strain on these areas of the body caused by the exoskeleton and consult a doctor.

  3. People with skin diseases, skin injuries or skin inflammation must bear in mind that contact with the exoskeleton could aggravate the skin irritation.

  4. People who experience redness and overheating in the affected parts of the body (arms, shoulders, hips and back) should avoid using an exoskeleton as this could make the symptoms worse.

  5. People with varicose veins, lymphoedema, soft tissue swelling or circulatory problems should also be extremely careful and discuss the use of an exoskeleton with their doctor to minimize possible risks.

The decision to wear an exoskeleton in an industrial environment should always be made on an individual basis, taking into account the respective health conditions and advice from medical professionals. Safety and well-being are paramount. Source: Context of content and text from Ottobock user manual, among others

Why apply an industrial exokeleton?

Robots, digitalization and automation are the three attributes of technological progress.


Employees are increasingly being equipped with new assistance system technologies known as exoskeletons. These support structures worn on the body reduce the strain on employees through electrical or mechanical support and reduce the risk of injuries caused by physical stress.


Exoskeletons have established themselves as rehabilitation aids and can facilitate physical activities in both production and logistics. Exoskeletons often make physical exertion in production and logistics easier for employees. 


However, a 2018 study by the General Accident Insurance Fund (AUVA) showed that in Austria, for example, 21.4 % of all sick days are due to a musculoskeletal (MSE) disorder.

Are there any statistics on industrial exoskeletons?

There are a number of reasons why workers in the 50-64 age group are particularly likely to experience sick leave due to MSDs. This age group is more likely to have spent many years in manual jobs that can lead to repetitive strain injuries. They may also be less physically fit than younger workers, making them more susceptible to injury. In addition, older workers are more likely to have health problems that can contribute to MSDs. For example, diabetes and arthritis may increase the likelihood that someone will develop MSDs.


Although the number of sick days taken due to MSDs is significant, it is important to remember that many people with MSDs never take sick leave. This is because they either have no symptoms or their symptoms are not severe enough to warrant time off work. Nevertheless, MSDs can have a significant impact on the lives of those affected, leading to pain, disability and a reduced quality of life. 


On average, 15.8 days of sick leave are taken for every sick leave.
According to David Minzenmay, a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production and Automation Technology (IPA), sick leave due to MSDs in Germany adds up to around 125 million days per year, causing a loss in value added of around €22.7 billion.


A study by ABI Research forecasts a potential market volume for exoskeletons of USD 1.8 billion by 2025, and as much as USD 6.8 billion by 2030.


A microcensus labor force survey conducted by Statistics Austria in 2013 found that about 80 % of all workers are exposed to health risks at work (Statista Austria 2013). The findings:


  • 7 out of 10 bear physical risks
  • 4 out of 10 bear mental risks
  • Back problems
  • Eye strain
  • Ergonomic risks
  • Accident hazards

Overall, 32.2 %, or 329 100 individuals, reported having work-related back problems in the year prior to the survey. Another nearly 20 % reported problems in the neck area.

Standards for exoskeletons

The use of exoskeletons in industry is currently experiencing dynamic growth. A decisive factor for the comprehensive integration of exoskeletons in work environments is uniform standards.


Norms and standards represent the expertise of experts in the form of written rules and guidelines that can be easily adopted by others. Because they are accessible to everyone, they promote understanding, responsiveness and appropriate action worldwide. Standards not only contain the pooled knowledge of leading experts in the marketplace, but also serve as powerful tools to promote innovation and competitiveness. They simplify internal processes, increase the safety of products and make a lasting contribution to boosting productivity.


Currently, various institutes are working and researching to develop standards that define and harmonize the quality, safety, performance, and ergonomics of exoskeletons and assistive systems.

Which scientists are doing research on exoskeletons?
What are the risks of industrial exoskeletons?

Like any technology, exoskeletons can also have disadvantages. It is therefore all the more important to discuss the purchase and implementation in the company with an expert in advance so that you are able to make a rational decision with all the necessary information. We would therefore like to provide you with a list of all the potential disadvantages of exoskeletons in the industry.


  1. Muscle imbalance: Long-term use of exoskeletons can lead to imbalances in the muscles, as certain muscle groups are less active due to the artificial support. For this reason, industrial exoskeletons should not be used all day, but ideally four to six hours a day and primarily only in stressful situations.
  2. Increased risk of injury: Dependence on exoskeletons could lead to workers relying less on their natural body mechanics, increasing the risk of injury from incorrect movements. For this reason, we recommend training and a four-week test on site before implementation, accompanied by an expert. The expert trains the employees in the ideal use of the systems. For this reason, exoskeletons are not sold online.
  3. Decrease in natural muscle development: Constant support may reduce natural muscle stimulation and strain, which can lead to reduced muscular development.
  4. Restricted freedom of movement: Some exoskeletons can restrict employees' freedom of movement, which can be problematic in certain working environments. We therefore recommend a consultation with the Orthexo team to analyze the conditions of the workplace in detail so that you can purchase the right exoskeleton from over 160 solutions.
  5. Psychological stress: Wearing exoskeletons can lead to psychological stress, as employees may feel monitored or controlled. Active industrial exoskeletons in particular have sensors and can transmit data. Most manufacturers have recognized the problem and only send anonymized data of all employees in the median and not individual personal data.
  6. Ethical concerns: The question of responsibility in the event of accidents or injuries in connection with the use of exoskeletons raises ethical questions.
  7. Maintenance effort: Regular maintenance of exoskeletons requires additional resources and can lead to operational interruptions.
  8. Weight of exoskeletons: Heavy exoskeletons can themselves become an additional burden on the human body. Although the weight is redistributed to the body, mostly the hips and legs, an exoskeleton weighs up to 10 kg, which can then causally account for up to 15 % of the body weight as extra weight.
  9. Limited battery life: The limited battery life of some exoskeletons could affect efficiency during long work shifts. However, most active exoskeletons have a runtime of up to six hours and come with two batteries so that they can be changed in seconds.
  10. Lack of flexibility: In certain working environments that require flexibility, exoskeletons could be a hindrance.
  11. Workplace conflicts: The use of exoskeletons could lead to conflicts in the workplace, especially if not all employees have access to this technology.
  12. Low acceptance: Some employees may find it difficult to get used to the idea of exoskeletons, which could hinder acceptance.
  13. Delay in natural reaction time: The reaction time of an employee can be affected by the use of exoskeletons.
  14. Job imbalance: In companies that do not have the financial resources for exoskeletons, an imbalance could arise between the technologically equipped and non-equipped workforce.

ExoSuits ist eine eingetragene Marke im europäischen Markenamt von Orthexo. Eine Verwendung ist nur mit vorheriger Einwilligung gestattet.  

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How exactly do industrial exoskeletons differ?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of industrial exoskeletons?

Exo Models Contact Data
Exo Advantages Contact Data

Can the differences of industrial exoskeletons be summarized?

We have presented the most important parameters graphically for you. A basic distinction is made between active and passive exoskeletons. These are divided into electrical, mechanical or pneumatic. They are therefore powered by battery, compressed air, power supply or springs. It is also important which part of the body is to be protected and supported. We distinguish between arms, hands, legs, shoulders and torso area. The dead weight also plays an important role. A textile exoskeleton, for example, usually weighs less than five kilograms, while hardcover models weigh considerably more. There are also special exoskeletons for specific industries such as construction, assembly, logistics, landscaping, shipping, distribution, medicine and nursing.

The selection process to find the right exoskeleton can take a long time and become very complex. We support you in this process. Note: The graphics are subject to copyright and may only be used with source reference and linking. 

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Information on industry uses of industrial exoskeletons and the legal requirements for the use of exoskeletons in industry.

Standards and guidelines of industrial exoskeletons:

The only valid product standard that addresses the use of exoskeletons is ISO 13482:2014, which was published in 2014. This standard defines the requirements for the design and manufacture of robots intended to assist or augment humans. It applies to anthropomorphic robots that are worn by and operate in close proximity to humans.

The standard covers the design, manufacture and integration of exoskeletons intended to assist or augment humans. It applies to anthropomorphic robots that are worn by humans and operate in close proximity to humans.

The standard does not apply to devices that are surgically implanted in the human body, nor to devices that serve only cosmetic purposes.

The standard is based on the assumption that the user of an exoskeleton is a healthy adult human being. It does not address the design of exoskeletons for use by children or persons with physical impairments. 

In principle, a distinction is made when considering whether one is a manufacturer or operator and whether the exoskeleton is active or passive.

Currently, there is no valid product standard that deals exclusively or specifically with the use of exoskeletons, but only standards that partially include them.

Active exoskeletons are briefly mentioned in EN ISO 13482 "Robots and robotic devices - Safety requirements for personal assistive robots". Content: It is assumed that the design is inherently safe or is designed to be so safe by means of technical protective measures that the resulting residual risks can be accepted without further ado. 


Requirements for the development of exoskeletons, i.e. manufacturers of machines in industrial environments, which also include active exoskeletons, must comply with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. Only then may the exoskeleton be marketed in Europe. 


In addition, the EMC Directive 2014/30/EU and, in the case of a built-in radio module such as WLAN, the RED Directive 2014/53/EU place requirements on the exoskeleton and its use.


 Depending on the operating voltage, the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU may also apply. 


Lastly, the provider of active exoskeletons must have their CE conformity investigated and certified by a declaration of conformity. 


It is important to note that the requirements differ between active and passive exoskeletons. Passive exoskeletons are not covered by the EU Product Directive and therefore do not have to be developed in an essentially CE-compliant manner. 


Since an exoskeleton is worn on the body like a robot suit, ergonomic adaptability to the respective body size of the employees is essential. The passive exoskeletons, which already tend to be lightweight, must be designed in accordance with EN ISO 13482 in such a way that, for example, no bruising, cuts or abrasions are caused by straps or other components.


It is also important that no uncontrolled movements occur, for example due to springs or stored energy. 


For the heavier active exoskeletons, the additional load acting on the user must also be taken into account.


In order to be able to use the industrial exoskeleton, the Employee Protection Act (ASchG) with § 33 and § 35 and, as a result, the associated ordinances, such as the Work Equipment Ordinance (AM-VO), must be taken into account in order to reduce or better prevent hazards for employees through the use of exoskeletons.


It states that only safe products (CE marking) may be used and that the work must be designed safely by the employer and, according to ASchG § 4, a workplace evaluation must be carried out. 


Compliance with the regulations requires the operator of work equipment to conduct an appropriate safety-related workplace evaluation.

How do I do a risk assessment?

EN ISO 12100, which is also provided for machine design, is suitable here. In addition, one should deal with the EMF regulation (EMF: electromagnetic fields). 

Regardless of the standards and regulations, a workplace evaluation is required to consider all operations that may also occur during the time of use. 

This starts with precautions during donning as well as doffing and precautions against falls. 

Furthermore, the PPE Ordinance (PSAV) must be observed internally. 

Active exoskeletons integrated into the corporate network must be securely developed and implemented using IEC 62443 "Industrial communication networks - IT security for networks and systems". This is to prevent hacking. 

Where are exoskeletons used? In which industries are industrial exoskeletons used?

Exoskeletons in medicine

Exoskeletons provide greater employee well-being in hospitals and nursing. The use of exoskeletons in nursing and hospital settings can help improve employee well-being. 

Exoskeletons in surgery

Surgical procedures are very strenuous - standing for long periods and high precision lead to fatigue. Exoskeletons can ensure that the body is relieved. Exoskeletons for cardiologists are very popular. Studies show that surgeons are at increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). A study in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics found that 90 % of surgeons suffer MSDs, primarily in the back and neck.

Exoskeletons for the dentist

When you visit a dentist, precision is required. Longer procedures can therefore be performed with weight support for the arms to maintain the necessary precision. Dentists have to be precise. Therefore, it is helpful to use a weight support for the arms during longer procedures. 

Exoskeletons for care

The use of exoskeletons in hospitals and nursing can facilitate lifting activities and reduce workload. Exoskeletons can be used in hospitals and nursing to improve the well-being of employees. One exoskeleton that meets the requirements is the Care Exo.

Exoskeletons for the care service

Demographic change is ensuring that nursing care is becoming an increasingly important area of healthcare. Exoskeletons can make an important contribution to keeping the backs of nursing staff healthy. 

Exoskeletons for construction and assembly

The power suit continues to gain acceptance in construction. Special heavy load carrying, lifting and transporting loads over longer distances are perfect for exoskeletons. Overhead work is also extremely strenuous; painters, for example, can benefit from overhead exoskeletons.

Exoskeletons in drywall

Often, the overhead work here is also extremely strenuous. 

Exoskeletons for door & window installation

Due to the large glass fronts and triple glazing, windows are very difficult to transport. However, with the right solutions you can do this easily and without problems over long distances. Windows are always harder to get to where you want them, but with the right solutions, you can do this easily over long distances. You should also pay attention to exoskeletons where the load can be connected directly to the exoskeleton. We will be happy to advise you. 

Exoskeletons for craft: exoskeleton craft

Robotic suits, they are also called exoskeletons, are very common here, especially the overhead exoskeletons and the ground work exoskeletons.

Exoskeletons for farriers

Farriers are often and exoskeletons for sitting such as the Noonee, the LegX or the Lex Chair are especially suitable for this. 

Exoskeletons for painters: Exoskeleton painter

Cleaning work can cause problems with the shoulder - therefore we recommend overhead exoskeletons.

Exoskeletons in horticulture

In horticulture, there are many very differently positioned loads that are best solved with textile exoskeletons. These are not that expensive and are extremely easily adaptable. Only when it comes to heavy lifting would we advise against them.

Exoskeletons for logistics: Exoskeleton Logistics

Exoskeleton in logistics: it must be carried heavy and often. Here we recommend hardcover models, because often one employee carries a whole plane in sum of a whole week. 

Exoskeletons for picking

Due to the many lifting operations in order picking, an exoskeleton is the perfect companion for employees. The work in order picking is strenuous and characterized by many different lifting processes. An exoskeleton is the perfect companion here to prevent back pain. 

Exoskeletons wholesale

Wholesalers have to adapt very flexibly to the needs of their customers - this also means that employees in logistics have to work faster. This can lead to overloads, but exoskeletons for the back can work wonders here! Wholesale flexibility responds to the needs of its customers - which in turn can lead to employee overload. This is where exoskeletons for the back can work wonders! 

Exoskeletons in warehouse logistics

In today's warehouse logistics, time is literally money and recruiting qualified staff is becoming an increasingly challenging task. Modern logistics companies face a wide range of challenges that they must overcome in order to remain competitive. The logistics industry plays a crucial role in the German economy and has become even more important in recent years, particularly due to the rapid growth of e-commerce and the recent impact of Covid-19.


With over 3 million employees and a turnover of around 279 billion euros in 2019, the logistics sector is an important cornerstone of the German economy. However, the logistics market is also considerable at a European level, as the industry association BLV illustrates with an estimate of over 1,120 billion euros. Worldwide networking and globalization continue to contribute to increasing the global handling volume in logistics.


Nevertheless, the industry is facing considerable challenges, as the BKK 2020 report shows, which records an extremely high number of days lost in the industry. In 2020, the average number of days lost in the logistics industry was 25.7 days. This highlights the need to take action to improve the health and working conditions of employees in order to maintain efficiency and productivity in this important industry.


In view of the current challenges and the constantly growing importance of the logistics sector, it is crucial to develop innovative solutions to meet the requirements of this vital economic pillar and to protect the health and ability to work of employees.

How can an exoskeleton help in logistics?

  • Reduction of sick days
  • Efficiency
  • Increasing the attractiveness of jobs compared to the competition

Where can exoskeletons be used supportively in dispo?

  • Lifting, holding, carrying and setting down heavy loads
  • Carry pallets 
  • Loading and unloading of trucks 
  • Picking
  • Subfloor work
  • Painting work
  • Brakes replacement
  • Mechanical installations
  • Piping, cable laying drive unit, structural assembly  
  • Electrical installations
  • Door maintenance
  • Grinding
  • Paint
  • Welding
  • Mounting

Exoskeletons in the food industry

Employees in the food industry often have to stand for long periods of time and perform physically demanding tasks, such as lifting heavy objects. In some companies, exoskeletons have already proven useful in alleviating these stresses. Ottobock's Paexo brand leads the way in this regard. Paexo Ottobock is the industry brand for exoskeletons.

Exoskeletons in the metal industry

Due to the ongoing shortage of skilled workers, metalworking companies are increasingly relying on exoskeletons to ensure their employees' health and ability to work. In the metalworking industry, exoskeletons are proving to be an extremely effective solution for improving the well-being of workers. These advanced aids help to reduce the physical strain of heavy and repetitive work, minimizing the risk of injury. In addition, exoskeletons enable employees to perform their tasks more efficiently and with less physical fatigue.


The integration of exoskeletons in metalworking companies is therefore not only an innovative measure, but also an investment in the health and ability to work of the workforce. This technology helps employees to carry out their professional tasks safely and sustainably and contributes to the long-term productivity and competitiveness of companies.

Exoskeletons in mechanical engineering

The mechanical engineering industry is undergoing continuous change, making it increasingly difficult to retain qualified employees in the long term. The increasing workload in the areas of production and logistics further exacerbates this challenge. In this dynamic environment, exoskeletons are proving to be an extremely versatile solution. They offer a wide range of possible applications, particularly in manufacturing and logistics.


Exoskeletons can help to reduce the physical strain on employees in these areas and increase work efficiency. They enable employees to lift heavy loads and perform repetitive tasks without excessive fatigue or risk of injury. The integration of exoskeletons into work processes not only contributes to the health and safety of employees, but also increases the attractiveness of the company as an employer. This is crucial for attracting and retaining qualified employees in the long term, especially in a constantly changing mechanical engineering environment.

Exoskeletons in the automotive industry (Automotive)

The automotive industry is undergoing continuous change, which brings additional challenges due to the mobility revolution and other developments. To meet these challenges, many car manufacturers are already successfully using exoskeletons in their assembly processes. Overhead exoskeletons in particular have proven to be useful aids. One outstanding example is the use of exoskeletons at Audi.


These technological solutions help employees in automotive production to perform tasks that often require overhead work. This relieves workers of physical exertion and minimizes the risk of fatigue or injury. The use of exoskeletons in assembly enables a more efficient and safer working environment and helps to maintain quality and productivity in automotive production.

Exoskeletons in the electrical industry

Employees in the electrical industry and electrical trades experience a variety of stresses and strains. Exoskeletons offer effective solutions for preventing health problems, particularly in assembly. Employees in these industries are confronted with various challenges. Exoskeletons in assembly help to prevent potential health problems and improve working conditions.

Exoskeletons in the wood industry

Wood is a natural raw material that has increasingly come into focus both in the climate debate and in the wood industry. The different fields of application for exoskeletons in the wood industry are an important topic. 

Summary Industrial Exoskeletons:

Industrial exoskeletons have become increasingly important in recent years and represent an exciting development in the field of work ergonomics. These technological innovations, often related to the concept of Industry 4.0, offer multiple opportunities to improve working conditions and increase productivity in various industries. In many manufacturing companies, some workplaces are reaching the limits of automation, and when employees are exposed to high physical stresses, exoskeletons can provide effective relief.


An exoskeleton is essentially a wearable device designed to assist and augment human movement. It consists of a frame or structure that surrounds the body and is equipped with motors, sensors and actuators. This technology allows users to lift heavy loads, work for extended periods without fatigue, and reduce musculoskeletal stress. In many manufacturing operations, automation systems are reaching their limits, especially when it comes to tasks that require human skills and intuition. This is where exoskeletons come into play. They offer an innovative solution to improve workers' physical abilities while reducing the risks of workplace accidents and injuries. By using exoskeletons, employees can lift and carry heavy loads with ease, resulting in a significant reduction in physical strain. This can lead to a reduction in workplace injuries and employee fatigue, which in turn has a positive impact on productivity and efficiency.


Industrial exoskeletons could revolutionize industry much like the assembly line. Many workers in sectors such as construction, industry or medium to heavy physical labor suffer from severe back problems. Musculoskeletal disorders account for nearly 25 percent of all work disability days. Exoskeletons could provide an effective solution here, improving employee health, increasing work capacity and boosting business performance. The return on investment is usually achieved after 18 months, as absenteeism days can be reduced by up to 25 percent. Modern exoskeletons for the back can relieve the spine by up to 60 percent.


There are more than 268 million workers worldwide in industries such as logistics, care, manufacturing, trades and assembly that could benefit from industrial exoskeletons. For companies, exoskeletons offer a way to hire new employees, retain existing employees, reduce their workload, and reduce sick leave. The skills shortage is challenging many companies, and exoskeletons can help make them more attractive to potential employees and increase productivity.


Before introducing exoskeletons, it is advisable to conduct a test week to determine the ergonomic loads on employees and validate the introduction of the exoskeletons. There are over 160 different characteristics that should be considered when selecting an industrial exoskeleton, including the scope of work, work equipment, work routines, and work environment. Implementing exoskeletons in organizations requires careful planning and worker involvement to ensure that the solutions will be used over the long term and achieve the desired benefits.


The introduction of industrial exoskeletons offers companies the opportunity to improve the health and well-being of their employees, increase productivity and position themselves as a modern employer. It is important to consider the specific needs and requirements of each company and select the right exoskeletons to achieve optimal results. Continuous development and improvement of exoskeleton technologies will help this innovative solution to be adopted in more and more industries, changing the world of work for good. However, the introduction and implementation into operations is not straightforward, so we strongly recommend expert guidance. 

Do you have any questions?

Do not hesitate to contact us!