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Project´s aim and approach

MEXOT pursues the overriding goal of ergonomic workplace design through the combined use of passive, sensory exoskeletons and the development of a process- and employee-specific material supply system using driverless transport vehicles (AGVs). On the one hand, the goal is to reduce employee workloads and make process flows more efficient by eliminating the need for employees to spend a lot of time walking and feeding materials. On the other hand, the low acceptance of exoskeletons is to be counteracted with the help of gamification incentives. A pick-&-assemble-by-motion concept will automatically register the work steps performed in picking and assembly to improve the informational assistance for the employee.
For the realization, the passive exoskeleton will be extended by switchable elastomers and an integrated sensor system providing employees with an individual degree of support as well as ergonomic improvement feedback. In more detail, a hardware-based integration of sensors makes it possible to track the employees´movement patterns of. This serves to enrich the data of an (external) incentive system that rewards employees for correctly wearing the exoskeleton and integrates gamification approaches to increase motivation. In a second step, the sensors are used to activate or deactivate individual “elastomeric muscles,” which provides higher wearing flexibility for activities that do not require support. In the third step, the sensor technology is used to develop a more advanced pick-by-motion concept, which is supported by the camera system of the AGV to examine a registration of individual work steps in picking as well as assembly. AGVs take over the material supply and position themselves to meet the individual requirements of the employees. Integrated cameras, gesture and voice control and action visualization enable intuitive human-technology interaction.