Mutua Universal, a mutual social security collaborator, participated this week in the International Symposium on Wearable Robotics (WeRob2020), which notably discussed the application of exoskeletons in various social fields. More specifically, the Prevention area of Mutua Universal shared its experience in the study, analysis and research of the use of exoskeletons in industry, as well as in the development of its own methodology for the practical application of these systems to reduce musculoskeletal disorders in women. the workers.
Mutua Universal has participated in recent years in a joint initiative with its associated companies Groupe PSA and CTAG (Centro Tecnolgico de Automocin de Galicia) to analyze the effectiveness of exoskeletons in workers on the assembly line of the production center of Groupe PSA in Vigo. The participation in this project was led by experts from the ergonomics laboratory of Mutua Universal, a pioneer in the search for solutions to problems of musculoskeletal origin in the workplace.
The knowledge and experience accumulated by the Ergonoma laboratory itself have enabled Mutua Universal to develop a technical advisory service to its associated companies for the implantation of exoskeletons in the workplace. This service includes its own four-phase implementation methodology (selection, simulation, test and final implementation), in order to ensure that the selected device is the most suitable for the ergonomic situation to be solved. To date, studies have been carried out in collaboration with Groupe PSA, Grupo Antoln Navarra, SA and Bridgestone Hispania Manufacturing. In addition, Mutua Universal has gathered its experience in the publication “Ergonoma 4.0 and Exoskeletons. Myths, legends and certainties”.
“The main benefits of exoskeletons are to prevent overexertion, protect areas of the body most susceptible to injury and reduce fatigue at the end of the day. It is a stopgap solution and should only be used in cases where it is not possible to modify the workplace, ”explains Ana Elvira Planas, head of the ergonomics laboratory at Mutua Universal.
During the WeRob2020 symposium, Ana Elvira Planas moderated the special session “Application Industrial Exoskeletons”, which had the participation of pioneering companies in the incorporation of exoskeletons in their different production processes. Mar Arias also participated in the meeting, giving a presentation, Mara Ducun and Jos Antonio Toms, technical specialists in ergonomics at Mutua Universal.
Regarding the most suitable environments for the implantation of exoskeletons, Ana Elvira Planas explained that “in the workplace, they can help improve the work with ergonomic risk factors whose technical solution is complicated or non-existent, such as those which involve forced postures of the back or which require to keep constantly the raised arms “.
The WeRob2020 symposium, of great international impact, is being held from October 13 to 16 as a virtual conference and is organized in collaboration with the Galician Automotive Technology Center (CTAG), the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the Instituto Cajal and the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.
At the meeting, researchers from around the world discussed new approaches, challenges and potential solutions in wearable robotics technologies, such as binocular robots, exoskeletons or exoskeletons. In the same framework, the fifth edition of the International Conference on Neurorehabilitation (ICNR2020) was held.