Will Exoskeletons Create a Safer Workplace?

Posted: January 15, 2021
exoskeleton_01.jpg

Exoskeletons are used in an effort to create safer workplaces and improve work performance.  By 2023, exoskeleton sales are expected to grow to $2.8 billion.  However, much is still unknown about this emerging technology.  A recent article in The Synergist summarizes many of the differences between types of exoskeletons and can help one understand if exoskeleton use is a feasible and worthwhile solution for a specific workplace.

In this article, Dr. William Marras, the Spine Research Institute's Executive Director, pointed out that research on exoskeleton utility and safety often rely on employee perceptions or muscle use as measured by electromyography.  Unfortunately, reliance on this type of data may not accurately reflect the ability of the device to lower injury risk or be accepted as a workforce safety solution long-term.

The article further outlines a method to choose the most-suitable exoskeleton for a particular job, by defining:

  • The capabilities of the exoskeleton;
  • The physical requirements of the job; and
  • What the employees' expectations are when using the exoskeleton for the job.

Want to learn more?  Read the full article (written by Ellen Gallo, Robert Baft, Albert Moore, and Bob Deist) here.