UK tech retailer Currys has announced that it has invested more than £250,000 in a fleet of robotic exoskeleton suits to support colleagues at its logistics partner GXO. According to the retailer, this will allow warehouse staff to work safely and efficiently during the busy Christmas period.
The suits will be used at Currys' Newark store and will help employees "perform their daily physical tasks by putting less strain on their joints and muscles when lifting heavy loads and help prevent injuries from manual handling of loads."
As Currys explains, the robotic suits are worn like a small backpack and lighten the load on colleagues by at least 10 tons over the course of a typical work shift - with up to 30 kg of lower back support per lift.
The waterproof exoskeletons are made of ultra-light carbon fiber and feature an AI-based safety system that alerts the user in real time to incorrect postures and lifting practices.
Commenting on the investment, Lindsay Haselhurst, chief operating officer of Currys, said:
"The physical and mental well-being of our colleagues and our service partners is very important to us. As a leading technology retailer in the UK, we strive to have state-of-the-art technology throughout our supply chain. That's why we've invested in these exoskeletons at our distribution center in Newark."
Gavin Williams, managing director of GXO for the UK and Ireland, added:
"We have successfully deployed robotic suits in several warehouses across the GXO global network and are pleased to now bring this technology to our team at the Newark site thanks to Currys' significant investment. This is a testament to our shared commitment to creating a safe and fulfilling work environment for our employees while driving efficiencies and significant savings for our customers."
Armin Schmidt, CEO of German Bionic, the manufacturer of the 'Cray X' exoscelaton, concluded:
"We are pleased that Currys, the UK's leading retailer of electronics and home appliances, has partnered with German Bionic to equip its warehouse workers with our Cray X exoskeletons, which will help them lift and carry goods more safely with the support they need to protect their health," said Armin Schmidt, CEO of German Bionic.