Although it is not yet possible to show a direct correlation, there is a plausible link between the use of exoskeletons and reduced musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in workers.
We thus decided to assess the impact of the use of an IVO/COMAU exoskeleton in various working contexts. The first phase of experimentation focused on waste collection and urban cleaning activities, followed by evaluation of the possibility of use for workshop maintenance on the AMSA vehicle fleet.
The experimentation was carried out by alternating phases of worker training in the use of exoskeletons with phases of field testing. This was followed by analysis of data gathered by means of various types of sensor and quality tests, with the aim of defining the actual benefits obtained.
Many benefits can be obtained, in particular:
The exoskeleton used in the experimentation was a passive model, whose functioning was, in other words, activated by springs loaded by the dynamic movement of the worker, primarily involving the upper part of the body. While it provided some measurable benefits for workers, its use is not in line with targets for applications related to waste collection and cleaning operations. Significant and measurable benefits were, however, observed for maintenance work carried out on vehicles in the workshop, the reason being that the exoskeleton makes it easier to perform overhead activities and to maintain posture for longer periods of time.
In conclusion, then, this technology makes it possible to work more safely and with fewer physical repercussions for the worker, to carry out activities more quickly and to keep the risk of workplace injury to a minimum.