Hyundai's VEX exoskeleton vest facilitates overhead work with wearable robot vest
Everything you need to know about the features and benefits of the Exoskeleton vest VEX from Hyundai need to know.
Hyundai has developed the Vest Exoskeleton robotic vest, a new wearable assistant that enhances the performance of industrial workers by reducing the strain on human joints.
The vest imitates the movement of human joints, at the same time increasing the possibilities of load bearing and expanding the mobility of the worker.
The wearable vest, which does not require a battery, uses a polycentric axis for the first time. The polycentric axis combines multiple pivot points with multi-link muscle support, taking the strain off the worker when lifting heavier weights. This reduces fatigue while increasing efficiency.
The VEX is worn like a backpack and, at 2.5 kilograms, weighs between 22 and 42 percent less than competitive products. The user places their arms through the vest's shoulder straps and then attaches the chest and waist straps. The back panel can be adjusted by up to 18 centimeters to accommodate different body sizes. The level of power assistance can be adjusted up to 5.5 kilograms via six levels.
Thus, the VEX is ideal for workers on the production line who mainly work overhead. The robot vest supports them, for example, when bolting vehicles to the underside, fitting brake systems or attaching exhaust systems.
The development of the VEX was accompanied by a ten-month pilot program at two Hyundai Motor Group plants in the USA. The test results show that the strain on employees' joints is relieved and, at the same time, productivity increased on the two production lines where the vests were used.
The vests will now gradually be used in all plants worldwide and will also be commercially marketed in other industries at the end of the year. In the process, the price of the vest will be around 30 percent below the prices of existing products, which normally cost around $5,000.
The vest is not the first robotic technology Hyundai has used. It previously introduced the 1.6-kilogram Chairless EXoskeleton (CEX), a lightweight, wearable device that protects workers' knee joints, spine and muscles.
The CEX provides the worker with a comfortable sitting position without a chair and can hold weights up to 150 kilograms. Consisting of waist, thigh and knee straps, the CEX can be adjusted to fit the height of each user. The CEX also has three different angle settings of 85, 70 and 55 degrees, reducing the user's back and lower body muscle activity by 40 percent. Again, the worker tires more slowly and remains more efficient.
The VEX was developed specifically for production line workers who primarily work overhead, such as attaching exhaust systems, installing brake lines and bolting the underside of vehicles. As part of the development of the VEX, a pilot program was conducted at two Hyundai Motor Group plants in the US. The results were extremely successful and led to a significant increase in employee performance and productivity. As a result, both plants have decided to permanently integrate the VEX systems into their production lines.
In view of this positive experience, the Group is now considering introducing VEX in production facilities worldwide. This would help improve working conditions and increase employee efficiency at various plants. The planned implementation of the VEX systems is a further step towards optimizing productivity and quality in the manufacturing industry and helping employees to perform their tasks more effectively and ergonomically.
The Hyundai Exoskeleton Vest VEX is an industrial exoskeleton suitable for both indoor and outdoor use that supports the upper body, especially the shoulders and arms. It enables overhead movement, making it easier to lift, carry and hold loads in the assembly industry. The exoskeleton weighs only 2.5 kg and is not dependent on a power supply. It is specifically designed for industry use in the assembly industry and skilled trades. The exoskeleton can be worn by users with a height of 165 to 195 cm and can also be used on machines to improve work performance. However, it is not suitable for forklift driving or van driving and does not allow sitting on a chair during use. The vest is dust resistant and can be used in temperatures up to 50 degrees. The retail price is 4000 euros net and the exoskeleton is sold in Europe, the USA and Asia. No minimum purchase is required and regular maintenance is necessary to ensure optimal functionality of the exoskeleton. Each arm of the exoskeleton can lift up to 5.5 kg of weight. The manufacturer is headquartered in China and production also takes place there.
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The Group plans to place various robotics technologies in other areas. These include a hotel service robot, a sales service robot, electric vehicle charging technology and other robotic personal mobility solutions.
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Hyundai Motor Europe GmbH.