Companies Turn to Exoskeletons to Assist Factory Workers

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

    Messages:
    19,233
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    According to the Wall Street Journal, companies are outfitting its factory workers with exoskeletons to lower the amount of injuries caused by extended overhead reaching. Manufacturing jobs such as overhead welding are perfect candidates for exoskeleton use as weight from the arms is transferred to the hips. The effect makes the upper body feel as if it is suspended in water.

    Currently the devices are passive' meaning they don't use external power. "'It's not designed to give you superhuman strength; it's designed to give you superhuman endurance,' said Zach Haas, a senior product manager at Richmond, Calif.-based Ekso Bionics , which began selling its EksoVest upper-body model in January 2018." Work-related musculoskeletal disorders cost employers up to $54 billion annually. The devices cost $4,000 - $6,000 each and battery powered "Iron Man" style suits are in development with plans to ship those in 2020.

    "Exoskeletons are coming," said Frank Pochiro, a senior manufacturing engineer at BMW who is overseeing the exoskeleton rollout. "There's going to be much more widespread use in all auto manufacturing, but also in light manufacturing, construction, any industry you can think of where you're bringing your arms up over your head." Servers at last year's Oktoberfest in Munich donned Ottobock exoskeletons to carry trays of beer steins.
     
    lostin3d and Revdarian like this.
  2. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

    Messages:
    19,233
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Obligatory waitress in exoskeleton pic from the article.

    B3-CW700_exoske_H_20190114104638.jpg
     
  3. schoenda

    schoenda Gawd

    Messages:
    859
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    The obligatory:

    I for one welcome our new robotized zombie overlords.
     
    RealBeast, lostin3d and cageymaru like this.
  4. El Derpo

    El Derpo Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    She looks like she doesn’t need help lifting things.
     
    Mav451 and Ocellaris like this.
  5. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,740
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Here's my question: Why don't they just reorient the car to a better position? At that point in the assembly, they haven't added all the fluids or anything else that's gravity-sensitive. Why not tip the car on its side so it's easier for the workers?
     
  6. filip

    filip [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,450
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Dam she flexing hard as fuck. That thing is not doing much.
     
  7. STEvil

    STEvil 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,815
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2000
    Sure, they could do that.

    But I cant.


    Take my money.
     
  8. TordanGow

    TordanGow Gawd

    Messages:
    668
    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Waiting for a malfunction in the hydraulics to rip someone's arm out of the socket or hyper-extend a knee an extra 60 degrees.
     
    mikeo likes this.
  9. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,549
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    A truly Teutonic experience: You get to consume enormous containers of tasty beer and ogle the engineering.
     
    RealBeast and c3k like this.
  10. mikeo

    mikeo Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    289
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Drone better.

     
  11. Gideon

    Gideon [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,956
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    We do in the actual construction of the car, that was a mechanic just working on a car on a normal service lift.
     
  12. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    27,651
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
  13. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,349
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    I can't wait until some Safety Supervisor somewhere decides these are mandatory to lift anything over 5 lbs.
     
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,667
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    You dont quite understand how hydraulics or this works do you?
     
  15. ZiggyDeath

    ZiggyDeath Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    231
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2017
    The obligatory:

    I can lift x pounds all day long, this thing is useless.
     
  16. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    16,996
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    If it means less stress on the body, meaning people can work better with less risk then how long before companies use these as an excuse to make people work even longer shifts?
     
  17. GSDragoon

    GSDragoon [H]Lite

    Messages:
    103
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    That was my thought when reading "it's designed to give you superhuman endurance."
     
  18. tunatime

    tunatime 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,871
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    t51b baby! its crazy when you think about how much sifi stuff form the last 40 years we are slowly working to or already have
     
  19. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,031
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Having had a fair amount of disk material removed from one of my lumbar anything that reduces stress on my spine is welcome.....

    That being said this Bow Flew nightmare does not seem to work as well as they portray it to.
     
  20. Crimson

    Crimson Gawd

    Messages:
    560
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    This takes assisted jerking-off to a new level.
     
    steakman1971 and Patton187 like this.
  21. cbroseinak

    cbroseinak n00b

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    I expected that guy to bust his front teeth out when he drank that cup of coffee :)
     
    mikeo likes this.
  22. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,080
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Waiting for the youtube vids of factory guys using their new exo-suits to:

    1. Jump off the factory roof...onto a car.
    2. Arm wrestle each other.
    3. Enroll in the annual Scottish Games. Especially the Caber Toss.
     
  23. Laowai

    Laowai Gawd

    Messages:
    515
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Superhero landing or GTFO
     
  24. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,911
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    Thanks Cagey. I need to get this for my wife. I've got a pair of mugs like whats in that pic. They're quart sized! Got 'em at a local brewery a couple years back during Octoberfest. Seriously weigh around 10-20lbs when full.

    upload_2019-1-18_6-46-11.png
     
    cageymaru likes this.
  25. Draax

    Draax [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,055
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    I don't see these taking off until they are extremely quick to step into or out of. If it takes forever to strap someone in and initialize the system it is always going to be quicker for a human to just do it themselves. Exoskeletons will also need to be in sync with human movement as any cumbersome movement will make humans not use them.
     
  26. TorxT3D

    TorxT3D Gawd

    Messages:
    651
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    i might a couple hundred into EKSO while the markets low.
     
  27. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,911
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    For the most part, I think this is a really cool thing. In my older age I'm really feeling all the aches and pains from repetitive or heavy lifting work I did in my youth. Can use this now and it should be standard for many things.
     
  28. Youn

    Youn [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,276
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    I dunno, these seem pretty popular and accepted, kinda cool too but there will be a generation of "eh, don't need no stinkin' robo-help!" curmudgeons

    41xSTMYAXVL.jpg

    not only this but things like hard hats, steel toes boots, work gloves, frickin' glasses and watches... all things we augment ourselves with but we've since stopped calling "new tech"
     
  29. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,740
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Ah, that makes more sense, then.
     
  30. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,667
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Except these are unpowered suits, they quite literally are forcing you to "lift with your legs not your back" type of thing
     
  31. SeymourGore

    SeymourGore 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,648
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    I could see the VR guys using these things to assist with their marathon VRchat sessions (or whatever's popular in the VR scene these days).
     
  32. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,080
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    And you think that'll stop 'em from doing the vids? Lol...

    ;)
     
  33. TordanGow

    TordanGow Gawd

    Messages:
    668
    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Yes I do understand how they work. Say you had an elbow located pivot point that failed (ie. Disconnected) due to over travel of the hydraulic piston, if this thing is securely attached you it could easily cause injury.

    My original comment was a light joke with the intent to highlight unintended injury risks.
     
  34. revenant

    revenant [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    14,153
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
  35. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,465
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
  36. Yaka

    Yaka Gawd

    Messages:
    613
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    although these are cool and will help certain peeps carry out thier jobs. most regular folk would be better of on a good strength (not muscle building) building program.
     
  37. lostinseganet

    lostinseganet [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Why not just get another worker because... f@#k'em....>_>. :(