Warehouse work is physically demanding, requiring laborers to lift hefty items and perform repetitive tasks. The job can take its toll on both workers and employers, forcing companies to pay out big money every year for injuries caused by overexertion.
One solution? Outfit employees with a flexible exoskeleton that gives them superhuman strength and augments their ability to perform repetitive tasks in awkward postures. Once a science fiction dream, this vision is now a reality. It even has a name: MAX.
An acronym for Modular Agile Exoskeleton, MAX is a wearable, modular, passive (meaning no motors) tool that helps employees avoid injuries. Made up of modules designed to protect the shoulder, back, and leg (the modules can be worn individually or in any combination), MAX is a type of assistive bionics technology that reduces the muscle force required to complete tasks. The product, which is suited to fields like warehousing, delivery services, and construction, was developed by Berkeley, Calif.-based suitX, a robotics company that designs and manufactures medical and industrial exoskeletons.
"The MAX solution is designed for unstructured workplaces where no robot can work as efficiently as a human worker," suitX founder and CEO Homayoon Kazerooni said in a release. "Our goal is to augment and support workers who perform demanding and repetitive tasks in unstructured workplaces in order to prevent and reduce injuries."