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    Occupational Exoskeletons

Occupational Exoskeletons

The need

Humans are still doing backbreaking hard work on a daily basis, everywhere: over 40% (!) of all employees in Europe suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders, such as back, neck, or shoulder pain. The impact is big, both for employees as the employers: lost productivity, reduced employee happiness and attractiveness…but also high absenteeism.

Exoskeletons

We need a way to combine the flexibility and dexterity of humans, with the endurance and durability of robots. The best solution? Merging both through wearable robots or exoskeletons: mobile devices that can be worn on the body and physically support or augment its wearer.

They can be a powered wearable robot or a simpler passive suit.

 

Our research

BruBotic's research on these occupational exoskeletons covers 3 distinct aspects.

  1. We conduct research on the impact of the exoskeletons on the body;
  2. We study the acceptance of the technology on the shop floor;
  3. Using a.o. insights gained from the above, we create and develop a series of next-generation exoskeletons.

Impact & Acceptance

Our movement scientists and sociologists performed and are performing several studies to objectively measure the impact and acceptance of occupational exoskeletons. They are doing this both on commercially available devices as on our own BruBotics prototypes. 

Upon request, our interdisciplinary team can conduct these studies on-site at your company as to give a more objective advice on whether the current occupational exoskeletons can be of value for a particular workplace or company. This sort of study has been performed already for DEME, Daikin and Carglass. 

See for instance this blogpost, in Dutch: https://www.wtnschp.be/wetenschap/technologie/exoskeletons-kunnen-jouw-werk-verlichten/

BruBotics is also in the process of creating a new lab, Flanders Make AugmentX, to perform even more precise measurements on the biomechanical impact of the exoskeletons.

Own developments

As part of the Horizon2020 Spexor and FWO SBO Exo4Work projects, BruBotics has developed a series of novel next-generation exoskeletons. These include a passive, smart and active back exoskeleton and passive and active shoulder exoskeletons. 

Some of our projects

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