Following successful pilots, Dutch retailer Ahold Delhaize will be scaling up the use of exosuits, a wearable technology that enhances the safety and performance of distribution enter associates. Over the past year, the wearable robotic systems have helped order pickers lift millions of products. Based on positive feedback from wearers, the pilot will be scaled up to include more than 250 suits in affiliated distribution centers. Developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Verve Motion, the exosuits reduce lifting related back strain by 30-40% despite weighing only 5 pounds (2.5 kg). Verve says the battery-operated suits have a 12+ hour batterie life and take only 30 second to put on or take off. Besides offering assistance in lifting objects, the systems are equipped with sensors that analyze how the workers move, suggesting that they could actually contribute to better training and improved ergonomics on the workplace. Last but not least, in a year when recruiting is still a challenge for many a company, the exosuits might be the key lowering the traditionally high turnover ratio in warehouses: “Having it be more compelling for people to want to work for us was very much on top of our minds” said Chris Lewis, President of ADUSA Supply Chain, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Photo ©ADUSA Supply Chain
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