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It’s not quite Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, but in one hardware store in the US, it’s about to feel like something out of a science-fiction movie.
Lowe’s, the second-largest chain of home improvement stores in the US, announced today that it has given employees a new type of robotic exoskeleton to help them lift heavy items within stores more easily.
It’s intended to help workers offset some of the strain on their muscles and joints, as they spend large portions of their days picking up and moving heavy and awkward items, such as bags of cement, or 5-gallon buckets of paint.
The suit, which looks like a cross between a backpack and rock-climbing harnesses, helps transfer the energy of the wearer’s movement more effectively using carbon-fiber trusses and motors.
Lowe’s pilot program with four suits at a store in Christiansburg, Virginia is, for now, just a test to see if they will in fact aid the average worker and relieve some of the more menial and physical aspects of their job. FULL STORY