Pros and Cons of Exoskeleton Use in Industry

Working in the industrial field comes with a number of challenges. You may be asked to work long hours of manual labor that can leave you tired or even result in injury. Lifting heavy objects and performing repetitive muscle activity for a long time is hard on your body. Luckily, technology exists to help do some of the heavy lifting for you. Robotic exoskeletons may be the solution that you’re looking for.

Exoskeleton technology can come in many different forms. Whether you need a vest, braces for your legs, or assistance stretching your arms, these wearable robots can help relieve some of the stress on your body. While you’re not going to become Iron Man overnight, these prototypes can help you lift heavy loads and get through the workday with ease. However, there are some cons to be aware of when it comes to exoskeleton technology. Sometimes your vests can be limited to one function, and it can be a costly investment for your team. Before you decide if wearable robots are right for you, let’s go over some pros and cons of exoskeleton technology.

Lower the risk of injury.

How many times have you looked at a heavy object and said “yeah, I can definitely lift that,” tried lifting it, and ended up hurting yourself? This is a common issue within industry. But with the help of a lifting exoskeleton, the wearer has robotic assistance to carry heavy loads without getting hurt. No more worrying about throwing out your back or pulling a muscle. Top companies like Ekso bionics are dedicated to preventing workplace injuries with their new technology for each robot suit. Lowering the risk of injury for your workers is a huge pro of this technology.

Help with fatigue.

Exoskeleton Use

If you work in the industrial field, you know that a lot of your work is quite repetitive. Whether it’s constant heavy lifting, using machines in the same way over and over, or even spending a long time on your feet, the work can wear on your body and leave you feeling drained and tired. Exoskeletons can help you with fatigue, which is another huge pro of the technology. Instead of feeling completely drained halfway through a shift, the wearer will feel revitalized and rejuvenated because the robotics are sharing the load. This way you can enjoy your personal time more because you won’t be so exhausted.

Aid your productivity.

When it comes down to it, even the best worker won’t be able to match the productivity of a machine. A robot suit will help you achieve your goals quicker and more efficiently. A huge pro of exoskeletons is the fact that they help you move faster, not get fatigued, and work in ways that you can’t achieve on your own. Overall, this greatly benefits your whole business and your employee’s abilities.

They may only help in one area.

Exoskeleton Use

Even though the technology is continuously being upgraded, a downfall for exoskeletons is that they may not be fully customizable. Because they’re designed to aid specific muscle activity and heavy lifting, these wearable robots may only be able to achieve that task. You do have a wide range of motion, but the sensors can only do so much. If you’re looking for a customizable solution that can be helpful in a wide array of areas, this technology may not be up for the challenge.

Cost can be an issue.

While exoskeleton technology can seem like a great solution, it can be a pricey one as well. Because a lot of these prototypes are still new, it can be difficult to get your hands on one. This may be a con to consider because it’s a big investment.