Maybe this exoskeleton can help stave off factory automation while keeping workers happy and healthy! Via C-Net:
Ford is testing an upper body exoskeleton called EksoVest. This nonpowered vest is capable of supporting a worker’s arms during overhead tasks, which can wear a person down quickly and potentially even cause injuries. It’ll work on people between 5 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall, and it can help them lift between 5 and 15 pounds.
Ford isn’t alone in its support for this technology. The United Automobile Workers union is on board. EksoVest is currently being used in two US plants as part of a pilot program, and if it goes well, it could very well expand to other plants around the world.
Ford isn’t the only automaker to look at ways to reduce worker fatigue. Last year, GM allowed me to use its RoboGlove, a force-multiplying glove that can reduce muscle strain related to gripping hand tools all day.
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