For some assembly works at Ford plants, a seemingly simple task becomes tedious after performing the job for hours a day, sometimes up to 4,600 individual times. Ford and partner Ekso Bionics hope the latest technology may find widespread use in plants: the Ford Exoskeleton, or EksoVest.
The technology fits over a worker’s arms to provide 5 to 15 pounds of assistance per arm, which makes a tedious movement less strenuous. Ford said the technology was engineered to work in real-life situations all day and offers incredible protection from stress and strain during repeated actions.
“Collaboratively working with Ford enabled us to test and refine early prototypes of the EksoVest based on insights directly from their production line workers,” Russ Angold, co-founder and chief technology officer of Ekso Bionics, added. “The end result is a wearable tool that reduces the strain on a worker’s body, reducing the likelihood of injury, and helping them feel better at the end of the day – increasing both productivity and morale.”
Ford and the UAW began a pilot test of the technology at two U.S. plants, but facilities in South America and Europe will soon receive the technology as well.