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School of Engineering

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Book Chapter

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The incidence of musculoskeletal disorders in workplaces with difficult ergonomic conditions is increasing. Today, there is a growing market for technical support systems that avoid repetitive strain on the musculoskeletal system. We have been observing two (parallel) lines of development: on the one hand, the development of exoskeletons supporting shop floor operators and, on the other hand, the development of collaborative robots for the creation of hybrid teams. The focus of our research is the combined application of exoskeletons AND collaborative robots for shop floor operators in the aerospace industry. Our approach is to analyze various scenarios to understand which tasks should preferably be executed either with a collaborative robot, with an exoskeleton, or by a human without assistance from any support systems such as an exoskeleton or robot. In order to pursue this idea of modular and selective support system solutions, tool availability has to be ensured without increasing the required infrastructure. In a first step, we have developed a prototype of a tool adapter that enables the application of a tool either by connection to a robot, an exoskeleton, or the tool being held by the operator, and allows very fast coupling and decoupling within seconds. This concept will enable the realization of the proposed simultaneous use of exoskeletons and robots.

Publication Title

Technische Unterstützungssysteme, die die Menschen wirklich wollen