Imagine if we could enhance our strength, performance, and power with the help of science and technology. Now, it is a reality! An Italian company called Comau presents an innovative and wearable exoskeleton called ‘Mate’. This wearable technology wraps the body like a second skin and replicates dynamic movements. They are ergonomically designed with a lightweight, breathable, and effective postural support to boost the power and performance of an individual. The upper-body skeleton is a device with a passive spring-based mechanism. As a result, it requires no electric power to function and is completely mechanical.
‘MATE’, that stands for “Muscular Aiding Tech Exoskeleton”, is designed by Comau in close collaboration with factory workers engaged in manual activities. As performing repetitive and strenuous tasks can be not just hard for the workers, but the vigorous work may also lead to muscle fatigue and even injury. Thus, the assistive exoskeletons are made to help keep that from happening. Mate has been designed to improve work quality in an efficient and highly ergonomic manner by providing consistent and advanced movement assistance during repetitive as well as daily tasks.
The exoskeleton works mechanically by utilizing coil springs within its two “torque generators”. Hence, the force generated gives mechanical assistance to the wearer’s shoulder muscles as they lift heavy objects, reach above their heads, or perform other physically-taxing activities. Also, the device restraints the wearer from rotating their shoulder joints beyond the safe range of motion.
The exoskeleton can be set to one of five positions depending on the task at hand. Additionally, users can choose between seven assistance levels. It weighs 3 kg (6.6 lb) and comes in two sizes, L/XL and S/M. As per Comau, MATE should be available as of December.
The Key Features of MATE Exoskeleton
- Designed in close collaboration with factory workers engaged in manual activities
- Naturally comfortable, breathable postural structure
- Compact structure
- Passive spring-based mechanism
The Main Benefits of MATE Exoskeleton
- Reduced muscular and cardiac fatigue
- Improved posture and thus reduced occupational diseases
- Naturally comfortable and highly breathable
- Follows the physiological movements without resistance or misalignment
- Improved precision of repetitive tasks
- Improved job quality and work excellence
- Restricts/Reduces joint injuries
The exoskeleton is developed in collaboration with two companies, ÖSSUR and IUVO. ÖSSUR is a leading non-invasive orthopedic company from Iceland and IUVO, specializes in wearable technologies, which is a spin-off company of the Italian BioRobotics Institute.
Founded in 1973, Comau is an Italian multinational company based in Turin, Italy. And it is a subsidiary of automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Comau is an integrated company in the industrial automation field with an international network of 35 operative centers, 15 manufacturing plants, and 5 innovation centers worldwide.