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Exoskeletons: WearRAcon Europe conference for the first time at A+A 2023 (24. to 27.10.2023)

Ergonomic tools of the future such as exoskeletons will be an important topic at the 38th International A+A Congress 2023. A major conference in this field is WearRAcon Europe, which will be held for the first time at A+A from Oct. 25-26, 2023. Under the motto "People count", A+A 2023 will be dominated by the most important trends of our time: sustainability and digitalization.

The Fraunhofer Institute IPA with the University of Stuttgart and the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRA) is organizing WearRAcon Europe. The 38th A+A Congress, which is organized by the Federal Working Group for Safety and Health at Work (Basi), is closely linked with the WearRAcon Europe conference in terms of thematic content.

The advantages of exoskeletons have already convinced numerous industries: these include the ability to walk again despite a serious injury, to handle heavy parts without outside help, or simply to be able to do overhead work comfortably and for a long time. Exoskeletons and wearables are now already being used successfully in industry and commerce, and major machine builders and car manufacturers as well as the medical sector are continuing to experiment with the networking of man and machine. Currently, the global market volume for exoskeletons is valued by leading analysts at over 20 billion US dollars by 2030.

"As an ergonomic aid for physically relieving the strain of physically difficult work, exoskeletons are an increasingly important component of modern occupational safety and health and thus a current and also forward-looking topic that could hardly be in better hands anywhere than at the world's largest trade fair for occupational safety and health," explains Dr. Urs Schneider, department head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation.
"The 38th Basi International Congress for Occupational Safety and Health complements WearRAcon with the aspect of selection and safe operational use of modern exoskeletons and wearables. It offers all users, operational stakeholders, consulting specialists and occupational physicians as well as decision-makers a high-quality and innovative knowledge platform for sustainable prevention in companies," explains Dr. Christian Felten, Managing Director of BASI.

The WearRAcon Europe Conference 2023 provides new insights into the promising world of exoskeleton systems from different perspectives and, together with the A+A Congress, sets future-oriented impulses. It thus provides the ideal framework for scientific and industry-focused discourse.
Lectures by renowned exoskeleton pioneers, combined with reports on the experiences of users from various industries, as well as impulses from experts round off the top-class program. For example, Prof. Dr. Thomas Alexander from the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) will report on the future of work.
The conference offer will be complemented by a wide variety of products and solutions at the trade fair and two additional exciting areas in the ExoPark: As at the last A+A, a Self-Experience Space will again be set up so that the exoskeleton systems of various manufacturers can be tested on realistic work scenarios. The interest of the visitors and the response of the exoskeleton manufacturers were already very high in 2021.

Parallel to the Self-Experience Space, the large live study Exoworkathlon will again take place. Skilled trainees from various mechatronic training courses run through courses with tasks for holding, lifting and assembling, which have been specially developed with industry. Data is prospectively collected with different measurement sensor technology to measure effects of exoskeletons.
In the Exoworkathlon, the IPA focuses in particular on prevention for young employees in order to raise awareness of the issue and counteract complaints at an early stage.

"The market for exoskeletons is developing very dynamically. Not only large companies, but increasingly also medium-sized businesses are already using this technology successfully. That is why the cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA is strategically important for us," explains Lars Wismer, Project Director, A+A.

Tom Illauer

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