This Hyundai Exoskeleton Turns You Into Factory Floor Superman

For some time now South Korean manufacturer Hyundai has been trying to make the jobs of its factory employees easier by researching a series of robotic enhancements for demanding tasks. Because the research is going so well, Hyundai announced last year plans to make some money off of these robots as well.
Hyundai VEX helps with prolonged overhead tasks 7 photos
Photo: Hyundai
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This week, the carmaker announced most of the work on the Wearable Vest Exoskeleton (VEX) is completed, and the machinery will go into production in December. VEX will sell for around $3,500, significantly cheaper than other similar products.

VEX is meant to help workers who usually perform difficult tasks mostly overhead, like bolting the underside of vehicles or whatever else needs to be done to a car’s underbody on the assembly line.

The technology needs no battery to operate, as it comprises multiple pivot points and multi-link muscular assistance, simply amplifying the human motion. A worker wearing VEX could experience force assistance of up to 5.5 kgf.

“VEX gives workers greater load support, mobility, and adaptability when operating in overhead environments.” said in a statement DongJin Hyun, head of Robotics team at Hyundai.

“Workers will also appreciate how light VEX is to wear and work with.”

VEX will be produced alongside the Chairless Exoskeleton (CEX) that is used to maintain a worker’s position while taking the load off the knees. It does this by transforming itself in some type of portable, personal chair.

Medical devices, such as the Universal Medical Assist system that can give humans increased running speeds, will follow shortly after.

Hyundai decided to get into the wearable robotics industry because of the opportunities seen here. As per the International Federation of Robotics, this industry is growing at a rapid pace, and by 2022 630,000 commercial robots are expected to be sold worldwide.

If the trend of past years continues, about a third of these robots will be used in the automotive sector.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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