Experimental suit could be a staple inside Audi’s production plants

It’s not exactly on the level of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits, but Audi’s new wearable exoskeleton could be a preview of what the future looks like for the company’s factory employees. The exoskeleton weighs just 6.6 pounds, and employees can wear them by simply pulling it over their bodies in the same way they do a piece of clothing. According to Audi, the device connects to the hips and covers certain sections of the upper body and the thighs. When worn, employees are said to experience 20 to 30 percent less back strain.

Audi Introduces Exoskeleton Suit in its Production Facilities
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German automaker says that the suits are capable of providing physical support to factory workers

Audi’s new exoskeleton suits aren’t pieces of novelty; they’re fresh pieces of technology that can help improve a worker’s physical well-being. The mechanics of the tech are still hazy, but the German automaker says that the suits are capable of providing physical support to factory workers, including helping employees carry heavy materials to ease back strain. The exoskeleton suits are being tested at selected workstations in the company’s factories in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. It’s part of the automaker’s goal to make the lives of its factory employees easier.

The suit is useful among workers who have to do a lot of heavy lifting, including those who take parts out of crates, those who install central consoles, and those who work on putting pieces of the car together. It’s admirable that Audi is spending money on technology that benefits its employees. It’s not all about the cars; it’s also about the people who make the cars.

Audi Introduces Exoskeleton Suit in its Production Facilities
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Audi isn’t the only automaker that has developed some form of the technology

That said, Audi isn’t the only automaker that has developed some form of the technology. Hyundai also has its own exoskeleton, which comes with power assistance that can let people with spinal cord injuries walk and run at up to 7 miles per hour. BMW’s also working on a similar tech, as is General Motors. The latter even collaborated with NASA to develop RoboGlove, a contraption that allows the person wearing it to increase his gripping force.

These exoskeleton suits don’t generate the headlines like they’re supposed to. But they are important in building better working environments for employees. That’s a big win for automakers and for the people who work tirelessly to help build the cars that we love.

References

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