With exoskeletons, effort is reduced by up to 30% for port operators

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Exoskeletons are coming to the aid of port operators in the Tyrrhenian Sea. That is, external devices capable of enhancing the abilities of those who use them. Which specifically function as a support for shoulder activity or to relieve the load on the operator’s lumbar spine. The two devices, called Mate-Xb and Mate-Xt, are designed and developed by Comau together with Iuvo (formerly a spin-off of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, of which Comau holds the majority). The two devices, in fact, were chosen by the Port System Authority of the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea (AdSP MTS) and the Port Company of Livorno, to improve the safety and ergonomics of their employees. The starting point is the study carried out by Iuvo with Comau which saw an initial 6-month pilot phase in which 12 employees were involved who were able to wear the exoskeletons during their daily work.

«The study conducted together with important institutions such as AdSP Mts and Cpl is one of the first in Europe and in the world which aims to evaluate the effect of exoskeletal technologies for improving the ergonomics and safety of workers in the port system – commented Duilio Amico, CEO of Iuvo and head of wearable technologies at Comau -. This project confirms Iuvo and Comau’s commitment to creating an ecosystem for the development and adoption of wearable robotics technologies that promote the well-being of workers.”

At the end of the testing period it was established that Comau exoskeletons «are able to significantly reduce muscle strain by up to 30% during the heaviest tasks. Workers not only experienced greater well-being, but also greater operational efficiency.”

As for the functioning of the two devices, it is quickly explained. The first allows you to relieve the muscular effort of the lumbar area during the movement of loads. It is easy to wear and easily adjustable to fit virtually any body structure and features a lightweight carbon fiber structure that makes it resistant to water and dust for both indoor and outdoor use, even in marine environments, such as the port one, highly corrosive. The second exoskeleton, the Mate execution of 10%”. In practice «Mate-Xt accurately replicates all shoulder movements without limiting mobility and without additional bulk».

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