Last week HuMan project members Scuola Sant’Anna, IUVO, Comau, AIDIMME and Royo Group met at Royo’s headquarters in Quart de Poblet, Valencia, to start testing one of the project’s main research activities lines, the exoskeletons, developed and utilized to enhance the physical and operational capabilities of the workers. These wearable devices eventually will be equipped with sensors in order to achieve one of the project’s main objectives: integrating human workers with their workplace and tasks.
Two prototypes were tested at Royo’s main assembly line. The first was an active exoskeleton used as a test-bench for providing lower back assistance when picking boxes with the final aim of reducing the usual back pain workers have to face during these tasks. The other one being tested was a passive upper limb exoskeleton which provides assistance for shoulder related tasks as arm-involved activities where workers have to maintain the arms in a elevated position for long times.
During the two day sessions, positive and valuable feedback provided by workers was gathered to be comprehensively analyzed by the project’s engineers. This is a joint task where engineers and workers engage in adapting the prototypes to the new workplace.
During the upcoming months, more sessions will be conducted to achieve a fine-grained prototype that will be able to monitor some key physiological aspects of workers during their working time as well as providing them of the necessary mechanical assistance when lifting weights. The overall goal of HuMan is to increase the well-being of workers, preventing and avoiding possible injuries, thus resulting in a positive effect in the productivity and workplace well-being.
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