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Sun June 13 2021

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New generation exoskeleton made easier to wear

3 Dec 20 Italian robotics firm Comau has unveiled the next generation of its wearable exoskeleton that is more practical for use on construction sites.

The MATE-XT exoskeleton
The MATE-XT exoskeleton

The MATE-XT has a slim, lightweight carbon fibre structure and an intuitive regulation system. The fabric is breathable and resistant to water, dust, UV-light and temperature.

The technology is designed to help the wearer with repetitive lifting motions and manual handling tasks. MATE-XT replicates the user’s physiological shoulder movements to provide optimal upper body support without batteries or motors. It has eight different levels of assistance that the wearer can switch between.

According to Comau, MATE-XT is the only commercially-available exoskeleton with EAWS (Ergonomic Assessment Work-Sheet) certification, attesting to its ability to reduce biomechanical loads during strenuous tasks.

Tests suggest that the technology can really help but allusions to the bionic man are bit far-fetched. Based on studies conducted at customers’ sites using the EAWS worksheet, Comau estimates that the wearable exoskeleton can help workers increase accuracy during overhead tasks by 27% and execution speed by 10%. It can also reduce cycle times by at least 5%. From an operational standpoint, MATE-XT facilitates increased precision, quality, and performance. But nearly half of workers reported no noticeable benefit.

See also: Skeleton Crew

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