In Depth

Ford trials futuristic exoskeleton for factory workers

Special suit could prevent injuries and muscle fatigue caused by repetitive movements

The motoring industry has used robotised production lines for decades - and now Ford is bringing the technology to its factory workers in the form of “wearable tool”. 

The car giant has developed a futuristic exoskeleton that aims to combat fatigue and injury caused by performing repetitive movements. 

The EksoVest is attached to a worker’s upper body and is “designed specifically to help with overhead tasks”, says Digital Trends, with the lightweight construction supporting the wearer’s arms and back. 

The amount of support provided ranges between 2kg and 7kg per arm, the website says - which “will certainly lessen the physical toll of raising your arms a million times a year, which Ford estimates many of its workers do”.

Ford partnered with tech firm Ekso Bionics to create the suit, which “could help prevent workplace accidents resulting from tired muscles and minds”, Engadget reports.

Russ Angold, the technology chief at Ekso Bionics, said: “Collaboratively working with Ford enabled us to test and refine early prototypes of the EksoVest based on insights directly from their production line workers.”

He adds: “The end result is a wearable tool that reduces the strain on a worker’s body, reducing the likelihood of injury and helping them feel better at the end of the day – increasing both productivity and morale.”

According to Digital Trends, the suit is undergoing trials at two of Ford’s production facilities in the US, with “plans to expand the programme into Europe and South America soon”.

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