Exoskeletons-as-a-service offered as helping hand to warehouse workers exhausted by pandemic

Light, strong, supportive ... and monitored thanks to ERP integration

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An outfit named German Bionic has noted that the freight and logistics industries "have been under enormous pressure since the beginning of the pandemic" and suggested exoskeletons-as-a-service as a helping hand for such workers.

The company yesterday unveiled a new exoskeleton called the Cray X that is designed to support workers in industries that require frequent heavy lifting. Worn like a backpack, the device offsets up to 28kg of load by "actively amplifying their movements and thus protecting the lower back from excessive strain."

The suits spew copious data so managers can track workers, with ERP and other application integrations possible.

In keeping with the industry-wide habit of selling everything as a service, the company is selling the suits under a "Robotics-as-a-service" model that for €699 per month on a 24-month contract provides the suit itself, software, and ongoing support.

Previous versions of the suit have been used across the aerospace industry and in Formula 1 racing, according to the company. Japanese electronics retailer Bic Camera is currently testing the company's suits among its warehouse workers, according to Nikkei. The company said that the suits may enable it to hire older workers amid labour shortages in the country.

"With the fourth generation of our connected Cray X robotic exoskeleton, we are once again setting the standards for the entire exoskeleton industry worldwide," said German Bionic's CEO Armin G Schmidt, who added that industries made busy by COVID-19 "can now strengthen their employees' backs with our new devices."

Which sounds lovely and supportive. Unlike some companies alleged to have paid scant regard to warehouse workers' wellbeing during the plague times. ®


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