The frame on the back of Sönke Rössing is not heavier than a backpack. However, the developer from the lower Saxony prosthesis manufacturer Otto Bock promises that the belted struts and the rope technique can have great benefits for craftsmen such as do-it-yourselfers. Painting walls, hedges cut, a variety of overhead work: With the exoskeleton, all of this should go much easier. “My dream is that next year can be offered at Christmas, an exoskeleton for the do-it-yourselfers.”
So far, Exoskeletons are primarily used in the Rehabilitation of paraplegics. Read more about it here. Now, you should come also in the world of work. The principle: struts and wire rope hoists to distribute the weight better in the body.
“Exoskeleton” of the prosthesis manufacturer Otto Bock
In Rössings model first of two ball-mounted joints on a waist belt. From there, two metal rods to the top, at the end of which the joints are attached, the joints, the function of the shoulder to the outside mirrors. From there, the next quest lead to the upper arms. With the help of wire rope hoists the burden of the poor without going through the back or the shoulder is derived directly in the hip.
The prosthesis manufacturer has brought its model in the autumn on the market, more than 30 customers had been supplied to numerous customers before hardware requests. Otto Bock is not the only company that develops Exoskeletons. In Germany, the Augsburg-based company German Bionic System works, for example.
Long-time unclear consequences
However, Exoskeletons can really be the cure for shoulder pain, herniated discs and bad knees? It will be discussed in the science is still fierce, says Sascha Wischniewski of the Federal Institute for occupational safety and health (BAUA). The crucial question is, whether the systems actually support the body, or only the distribution of loads. “Loads are usually initiated elsewhere in the body,” says Benjamin Steinhilber of the University clinic Tübingen. “It is still difficult to estimate whether the increase in physical strain may lead to a damage.”
The biggest Problem in the evaluation: long-term effects could not be explored in the new technology because it is too new. Basically, it is the goal to make a good job without the need for an exoskeleton, warns Wischniewski. “An exoskeleton should not be the first means of workplace design, but be used, where there is no ergonomically more meaningful Alternatives.”
Also Steinhilber sees it that way, and recommends to the company, to associate not any activity in the future with an exoskeleton. In addition, there is still much potential for improvement, such as the weight and the Points where the exoskeleton touches the people. “In the short term, I do not think that the Exoskeletons are so good that you can wear them over eight hours at work.”
Rössing, yet you believe in his invention. His customers want to ensure that your employees remain as healthy as possible. This factor gains because of the increase in life expectancy and the ageing of the workforce, on enormous importance. Whether Rössings can dream of exoskeleton under the Christmas trees in the year 2019 to meet, however, is still questionable. The price of 4900 Euro is likely to be most people for private use anyway.