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