Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today that it will be rolling out exoskeleton wearable technology to its workers in order to lighten some of the load Ford workers must endure every day. The Company states that repetitive motions that employees do to assemble vehicles can lead to fatigue and injury for workers. In order to remedy this issue, Ford is implementing EksoVest, a new wearable technology that will help reduce injury risk in some plant workers after seeing successful results from trials at two U.S. plants.
The EksoVest was piloted at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, and Flat Rock Assembly Plant at Flat Rock, Michigan, during the past year before being implemented globally after receiving feedback from the plant operators to help refine the technology.
“Building vehicles is physically a tough job,” said Bruce Hettle, Ford Group Vice President, Manufacturing and Labor Affairs. “We care about our employees and are trying to help them do their jobs with the least amount of wear and tear on their bodies possible.”
The EksoVest comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate workers of different heights, ranging from 5 feet 2 inches tall to 6 feet 4 inches tall. The wearable technology gives anywhere from 5 pounds to 15 pounds of lift assistance per arm.
“At Ekso, our mission is to augment human capability with wearable technology and robotics that help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable,” said Jack Peurach, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ekso Bionics. “Advancing our collaboration with a global leader like Ford, represents a major step forward in achieving our mission as our EksoVest is deployed around the world to enhance the well-being of its work force.”