Exoskeletons enter the factory and, more precisely, the Ford facility in Valencia, Spain: Ford is thus the first automaker to use exoskeletons for its entire assembly chain, demonstrating that the man-machine collaboration can be useful and functional to the creation of a productive and innovative and, above all, safe environment.
Nine are the suits made of lightweight titanium and carbon fiber to help production line workers lift, move or carry objects weighing more than 3 kg.
When creating the first prototypes of exoskeleton suits, designers worked side by side with the workers who would then wear them: the goal? To support their shoulders and back, transfer the weight on their hips, decrease the frequency of injury, offer protection and support against fatigue, lessen stress and fatigue caused by repetitive tasks over time.
The experiment, according to Ford, has reduced employee incident rates and led to a 90% decrease in such ergonomic issues as overextended movements or tasks involving hard-to-install parts.