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Siscodata presents MATE, Comau passive exoskeleton made in collaboration with Ossur (a worldwide leader company for non-invasive orthopaedic equipment) and Iuvo (a spin-off of the Biorobotics Insitute “Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna”).

The musculoskeletal diseases are among the prevalent pathologies in the EU territory and not only (disturbing data also emerged from U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics).

The origin of the diseases affecting the shoulder is due to repeated and prolonged use that interferes with the physiological processes of the various structures that compose the shoulder itself (bone, joint capsule, tendons, muscles) causing inflammatory and degenerative processes.
Professional risk factors:

  • repetitive movements (high frequency and speed)

  • incongruous postures

  • efforts

  • insufficient recoveries

  • compression of anatomical structures

  • imposed rhythms

  • inexperience in work

  • anthropometric structure.

MATE is:

  • passive portable upper-limb exoskeleton easy to wear based on pre-tensioned springs and dampers;

  • fast to wear and safe (it does not have any protrusion or opening that could interfere with the surrounding environment or that could injure the user wearing it);

  • helps the flexion-extension movement of the shoulder following the physiological movements of the shoulder without resistance or misalignment;

  • reduces the muscular fatigue (of deltoid and trapezius) and cardiac;

  • improves physical posture and reduces the arise of professional diseases;

  • it is adjustable to any body of shape and breathable;

  • easily adjustable even when it is worn;

  • wraps the body like a second skin, providing constant assistance to the movement during manual and repetitive activities;

  • redistributes the weight of the arm and of the manage load when the operator performs ergonomically "risky" activities: the weight is transmitted to the pelvis, biomechanically discharging the shoulder joint.

The exoskeleton returns an assistance proportional to the torque generated by the weight of the upper limb during flexion/extension movements of the shoulder (it stores and transforms the potential mechanical energy of a series of pre-stressed springs to assist the arm):

  • zero torque at elevation angle 0°;

  • maximum torque at elevation angle 90°;

  • the torque is reproduced from angle 20° and angle 120°;

  • no discountinuities during elevation;

  • possibily of tuning the amount of assistance needed.

The device reproduces all the passive degrees of freedom at the shoulder allowing the arm to perform its physiological movement. The operator can decide between 7 assistance levels, which can be selected independently using an allen key (supplied with the exoskeleton).

The regulations described below aim to increase the comfort of using the exoskeleton. Not optimal adjustments do not compromise the efficiency of the device or its possibility of use: they can generate inconvenience but not damage to the operator.

Some notes:

  • it is not a medical device;

  • it has been conceived as an individual device and to be worn independently (the exoskeleton can be shared among several operators after having been washed in the fabric parts);

  • it is made of non-allergenic and non-toxic materials;

  • all stiff components and exposed mechanical parts can be cleaned with a dry cloth or a cloth lightly soaked in water and neutral soap, while the fabric parts can be removed and wash in the washing machine;

  • lubrication and first maintenance: recommended after 1 year;

  • certifications:

    • EC declaration of conformity: Directive 2006/42/EC;

    • Declaration ISO EN 134482.

Exoskeleton short details.gif

Siscodata "back saver" kit is the combination of a MATE exoskeleton with a lifting platform. It allows the operator to work in the best ergonomic conditions during the manual palletizing phase without back problems exploiting the optimized help of the Mate.

The BS "back saver" kit allows to exalt the performances of the exoskeleton in relieving the work and the worker's problems that arise from strenuous and repetitive operations on lines that lack productivity and with very frequent lot changes, that do not therefore justify the purchase of a robot in terms of return on investment. The operator with this system works at a fixed optimal ergonomic height of approximately 800 mm as he/she does not bend the knees or the back during the loading/unloading of the pallet: it is the pallet that adapts itself to the height of the operator working height, maintaining constant the load/unload height. A possible option, that can be integrated in the exoskeleton, allows to control the lifter.

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