Occupational exoskeletons: wearable robotic devices and preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace of the future
Exoskeletons are personal assistive technologies that affect the body mechanically. They can reduce the load of physical work such as heavy lifting, lessening the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Ergonomic workplace design and layout are not always possible, for example in temporary workplaces. Exoskeletons can help compensate.
Like all new technology, they create a need for regulations and standards. This report provides designers with guidance. Redistributing stress to different parts of the body can affect workers’ health. Comfort is also an issue. Human-centred equipment design is advisable to make exoskeletons useful and accepted.