Muscles of Steel
The human-machine becomes reality. Smart Glasses on our eyes and digital mini-scanners on our index finger have long since arrived in our everyday work. Now the next machine-based stage of the human body is coming: the exoskeleton. A successful test phase was carried out in our Contract Logistics warehouse in Lehrte, Germany. Now the introduction of several artificial spinal columns in Lehrte and other locations is at hand.
They look like something out of a science fiction movie, but they offer immense advantages, especially in Contract Logistics. Lifting, stacking, order picking - all this should become easier for the employees with the artificial spinal columns. For this purpose, the weight is diverted from the arms and shoulders by means of an ingenious spring mechanism and transferred to the pelvis via the metal back plate. This not only relieves the strain on the arms and shoulders by up to 40 percent, but also protects the spine.
What the external skeletons explicitly cannot and should not be able to do is to artificially increase the load-bearing capacity of the employees or even the speed of order picking. We do not want to push our employees to new peak performances. Instead, our primary goal is to support the employees with the device called "Mate" and thus primarily maintain their health.
The exoskeletons - which, as in our test, can be purely mechanical or equipped with small electric motors - were originally developed for the medical sector, e.g. to enable people with paraplegia to walk again. In the military sector, too, there have been mission scenarios for years to better equip soldiers. The use within the Contract Logistics sector now provides another useful field