Comau, a Turin, Italy-based technology and innovation company, has created MATE (muscular aiding tech exoskeleton), an exoskeleton designed for workers to enhance their strength and performance. The exoskeleton is fully able to replicate dynamic movements of the shoulder while enwrapping the body like a second skin. This ensures greater comfort for the worker and increases work quality and efficiency by providing consistent movement assistance during manual and repetitive tasks.
The exoskeleton is worn on the upper body. It was designed in close collaboration with factory workers engaged in manual activities. MATE utilizes a passive spring-based mechanism, meaning that it is completely mechanical, requiring no electric power to function. It provides assistance to the wearer’s shoulder muscles as they lift heavy objects, reach above their heads, or perform other physically-taxing activities. MATE additionally keeps its user from rotating their shoulder joints beyond the safe range of motion.
“Mate has been designed in close collaboration with factory workers in response to their specific needs,” said Tobias Daniel, vice president of Comau’s robotics and automation products global sales & marketing. “With our exoskeleton, workers will be able to do the same tasks, but with less fatigue.”
This ergonomically designed spring-based structure eases the repetitive movements and relieves the effort, thanks to a lightweight, breathable and effective postural support.
MATE was designed in collaboration with Icelandic orthopedic company ÖSSUR and Italy’s IUVO, which is a spinoff company of the Italian BioRobotics Institute.
Benefits of Using MATE
- Reduced muscular and cardiac fatigue
- Improved posture and thus reduced occupational diseases
- Naturally comfortable and highly breathable
- Follows the physiological movements without resistance or misalignment
- Improved precision of repetitive tasks
- Improved job quality and work excellence
MATE comes in two sizes. The exoskeleton can be set to one of five positions depending on the task at hand, plus users can choose between seven assistance levels. It weighs 3 kg (6.6 lb).
According to Comau, MATE should be available as of December. But it didn’t mention any price for the exoskeleton.