German Bionic Power Suit Cray X to be Implemented at BicCamera’s Logistics Facilities for the First Time in Japan
Tokyo, December 17, 2019 – German Bionic, a specialist in the field of robotics, announces an initiative consisting of demonstration experiments to reduce employee workloads in the lifting and handling of products, supporting employee health over the long term at BicCamera, Japan’s leading electronics retailer. Intelligent power suits will be implemented
at logistics facilities in Higashi-Matsuyama, Saitama and Funabashi, Chiba, which handle storefront and electronic commerce merchandise for BicCamera and its group companies on a total area of more than 110,000 square meters, in order to analyze their effectiveness in the actual logistics work environment. The goal of this initiative is to protect employee health and enable physically taxing tasks in the workplace to be executed in a safe manner. Positive feedback has already been obtained from employees using the Cray X power suit in multiple instances involving the lifting of heavy items at the workplace during equipped tests. BicCamera expects to reduce workloads for tasks involving the lifting of heavy items through this initiative, and also expects to contribute to the development of devices specialized for the handling of home appliances in conjunction with German Bionic, to meet health-related needs in a wider array of tasks.
Reduce Lower-Back Stress in Tasks Involving Heavy Physical Stress
Cray X is a human-machine system that combines human intelligence with machine power by supporting or amplifying the movements of the wearer. The current German Bionic Cray X assists workers during the lifting and moving of heavy loads while simultaneously ensuring the
wearer’s posture and lifting technique is optimized. By doing so, damage to the musculoskeletal system can be avoided and employees benefit from long-term health benefits both inside and outside the workplace.
In contrast to conventional passive mechanical exoskeletons, active exoskeletons like the Cray X are driven by electric motors, allowing a significant reduction of total weight carried by the wearer when lifting objects, leading to the prevention of damage in the lower back area.
Preventive physician Professor Herbert Schuster says, “Power suits protect the particularly delicate lower back and pelvic girdle areas from excessive compression.” This becomes especially important when avoiding twisting motions in the waist area. This expert also notes that the use of active exoskeletons will optimize ergonomics in the work environment and contribute to the prevention of injuries and damage to the musculoskeletal system.
Collaboration between BicCamera and German Bionic
The collaboration between BicCamera and German Bionic began in 2019 with the BicCamera Accelerator Program. Multiple equipped tests have been conducted at logistics facilities between the two companies, and it is motivating to have confirmed that Cray X was able t adapt to work processes and successfully reduce workloads in various working environments. The collaboration is ongoing, and further discussions will be held to respond to needs that are specific to the handling of home appliances going forward.
Hideo Yamashita, Managing Director of GBS K. K. (Japanese branch of German Bionic) says, “The collaboration program between BicCamera and German Bionic is an initiative to maximize the safety of manual tasks that are unavoidable in logistics facilities. Intelligent power suits provide up to 25kg of lifting support, reducing the workload of those that handle heavy items. The tests conducted to date by BicCamera and German Bionic have generated positive feedback from multiple work environments. We expect to be able to contribute to healthier work environments to BicCamera and other companies that strive to achieve healthier business operations through similar initiatives.”
About BicCamera INC.
BicCamera, the core company of the BicCamera Group, which is the second largest electronics and home appliance retailer in Japan. BicCamera Group sells not only electronics, but also large selection of watches, toys, bicycles, liquor, cosmetics, bedding and contact lenses. BicCamera Group has large stores over 10,000 m2 near the main railway stations, and also the stores in the roadside suburbs, to differentiate the location strategy from other companies. In addition, BicCamera Group focus on E-Commerce Business in recent years to enhance Omnichannel between offline and online. BicCamera Group’s net sales of E-Commerce amounted to 100 billion JPN in 2019.
About German Bionic
German Bionic, located in Augsburg, Berlin and Tokyo, is the first European manufacturer to develop and produce exoskeletons for use in industrial production. Exoskeletons are human-machine systems that combine human intelligence with machine power by supporting or amplifying the movements of the wearer. The German Bionic Cray X is the first exoskeleton to provide connectivity to the Smart Factory and enable applications in an industrial IoT context. The German Bionic team is also committed to researching the role of humans in industry 4.0. Learn more about German Bionic, its products and the minds behind the company at: www.germanbionic.com
Contact for Enquiries
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6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
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