Comau Launches Mate - A Compact, Lightweight Wearable Exoskeleton Fit for Workers at Automatica 2018
Munich – Comau, the global leader in advanced industrial automation solutions, unveils MATE, its first innovative wearable exoskeleton at Automatica in Munich, the international trade fair for Automation and Mechatronics. 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 MATE Fit for Workers exoskeleton uses an advanced spring-based passive structure. MATE delivers lightweight, breathable and highly effective postural support without the need for batteries, motors or other failure-prone devices. It is also compact and ergonomically designed thanks to the partnership between Comau, ÖSSUR, a leading non-invasive orthopedics company and IUVO, a spin-off company of The BioRobotics Institute (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna) specialized in wearable technologies. MATE is fully able to replicate any movement of the shoulder while adhering to the body like a “second skin”.
Tobias Daniel, Vice President Robotics and Automation Products Global Sales & Marketing, commented, “We are particularly proud to have developed this innovative wearable technology. MATE has been designed in close collaboration with factory workers, thus responding directly to their specific needs. With our exoskeleton, they will be able to do the same tasks but with less fatigue. For Comau, this is also an extraordinary opportunity to reach a global market that, according to the IFR, grew more than 60% from 2015 to 2017 and is estimated to continue growing at a rate of 25% each year until 2020. We believe that the industrial sector will represent about one third of the exoskeleton’s applications.”
Reflecting Comau’s vision and commitment to innovative, open and easy-to-use technologies, MATE is an important part in the company’s HUMANufacturing Technology strategy, a concept in which people are protagonists within the smart factory together with cutting-edge, digital tools, enabling technologies and ‘intelligent’ industrial robotics within a networked production system. It is also the first of a series of wearable robotics that Comau is developing and commercializing in partnership with IUVO and Össur. A fundamental aspect of the collaboration is the joint desire to progress and evolve human-machine collaboration within diverse sectors, including biomedical, manufacturing and consumer. MATE was designed and developed at the Comau HUMANufacturing Innovation Center in Pontedera (Pisa), Italy.
At Comau’s booth (Stand 331 - Hall B5) from June 19-22, 2018, visitors can see MATE and the benefits of using it thanks to an application that shows the muscles when wearing an exoskeleton aided by sensors.
- Designed in close collaboration with factory workers engaged in manual activities
- Naturally comfortable, breathable postural structure
- Compact structure fully follows the movements of the upper limb without resistance or misalignment
- Passive spring-based mechanism – no risk of battery or motor failure batteries because the system does not use them
- Reduction of shoulder muscle activity for some muscles of up to 50%
- Users can do the same tasks with less fatigue
- Consistent, ergonomically-assisted movement support increases the quality and precision of repetitive tasks
- Users can improve their quality of work
Comau, a member of the FCA Group, is a worldwide leader in delivering advanced industrial automation products and systems. Combining innovative engineering solutions with enabling technologies, Comau helps companies leverage the full potential of digital manufacturing.
In addition to a vast range of modular, flexible and highly-configurable products, Comau offers interconnected digital service solutions able to transmit, elaborate and analyze important machine and process data, thereby increasing efficiency for smart manufacturing. The full portfolio includes: joining, assembly and machining solutions for traditional and electric vehicles, robotized manufacturing systems, a complete family of robots with extensive range and payload configurations, autonomous logistics, and asset optimization services with real-time monitoring and control capabilities. The offering also extends to project management and consultancy, IoT services, and maintenance and training for a wide range of industrial segments.
Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Comau has over 45 years of factory-proven experience and an international network of 32 locations, 14 manufacturing plants and 5 innovation centers that span 14 countries and employ more than 9,000 people. A global network of distributors and partners allows the company to respond quickly to the needs of customers of all sizes, no matter where they are located throughout the world. Comau is also committed to improving human - machine collaboration by developing competencies through the formation of individuals and groups as part of its open automation approach. This includes hands-on training programs by Comau Academy that develop the technical and managerial competencies necessary to face the challenges and opportunities of Industry 4.0.