Exoskeleton for Production: Debut of the German Bionic Cray X at the Hannover Messe

published on 12/04/2018

  • First active exoskeleton “made in Germany” nominated for the prestigious Hermes Award

  • German Bionic at the Hannover Messe: Hall 17 / Stand D13

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Augsburg 12/04/2018 – Augsburg-based robotics specialist German Bionic will present its active exoskeleton ‘German Bionic Cray X’ for the first time at an international industry fair. Exoskeletons or external skeletons are human-machine systems that combine human intelligence with machine power by supporting or strengthening the wearer's movements, thereby reducing the risk of workplace accidents and load-bearing injuries. The high-tech company from Bavaria is the first German manufacturer to mass-produce the innovative robot worn directly on the body. The German Bionic Cray X model was nominated for the Hannover Messe's internationally renowned Hermes Award for this ground-breaking technology that puts people back into the picture for Industry 4.0. The award ceremony will take place on 22 April 2018 as part of the official opening of exhibition by Federal Minister of Research, Anja Karliczek.

Healthier and smarter: Exoskeletons in action

According to the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), musculoskeletal injuries (MSD) account for 23% of all sick days in Germany and lead to an estimated loss in production of 10 billion EUR and an annual gross loss of 17 billion EUR. The predominant causes of MSD are physical strain during lifting and carrying at work, resulting in damage to muscles and ligaments as well as to bones and cartilage. The figures are even more dramatic against the backdrop of an aging population and a noticeable shortage of skilled workers in production. In some cases, aids such as forklifts or cranes could improve workers’ situation. However, often these static aids prove to be too inflexible in practice or the acquisition costs are comparatively high. According to recent research, there is increasing worldwide demand for exoskeletons: for example, the independent institute BIS Research predicts that by 2026 there will be a market volume of USD $4.65 billion.

“Our workplaces are far from the point of having all work done by robots, but it has become clear to most decision-makers that not every type of human work can be economically replaced by full automation or robotics systems. Flexible-use exoskeletons, such as our Cray X, can remedy this – whether lifting heavy loads in logistics, or in the production line,” says Dr. Peter Heiligensetzer, CEO of German Bionic.

The active-assistive exoskeleton German Bionic CRAY X was specially designed for people manually handling goods and tools, in collaboration with leading ergonomists. Working with its wearer, it reduces compression pressure in the lower back area when lifting heavy loads, thus preventing accidents at work and musculoskeletal injuries. The German Bionic CRAY X uses new micromechanical components and an ultralight ergonomic carrying system. To advance research into intelligent human machine and AI systems, German Bionic is currently developing a software platform based on open source technology and open standards. In future, sensory data will be collected, analyzed, anonymized and made freely available for research purposes.

German Bionic at the Hannover Messe

German Bionic will be represented at the world's largest capital goods exhibition, from 23-27 April, with its own booth in Hall 17 / Stand D13. Additionally, the company will exhibit a Cray X exoskeleton at the VDI Technology Center booth (Hall 2 / Stand C40). German Bionic Founder and CEO Dr. Peter Heiligensetzer will speak at the exhibition on Tuesday 24 April at 14:40 in an Automation Forum lecture about exoskeletons as a useful advance in automation.

 
 

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Eric Eitel
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