Using Exoskeleton Wearable Technology to Improve Worker Health and Safety

February 14, 2020

Exoskeletons are an emerging wearable technology that can assist a user’s physical activity in the workplace. This technology is a potential solution to reduce the physical demands and fatigue experienced by workers and help improve worker safety, health, and performance. The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) recently compiled new studies and evidence on exoskeleton technologies for occupational use in their special issue of the IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors. This issue takes a look at how best to facilitate the safe and effective adoption and use of this new technology. The papers in this issue address diverse topics and include reviews, applications, and original research. COEH's UC Ergonomics Program Director, Dr. Carisa Harris, was part of the editorial team, and prior PhD student Logan Van Engelhoven published part of his thesis work in this issue.

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Interested in learning more about human-centered design? Join us for our Online Ergonomics course beginning May 8th, 2020 with Dr. Jim Potvin, CCPE.

This 8-week, asynchronous online course will focus mainly on the critical role of ergonomics and human factors (Ergo/HF) in the design of occupational tasks but will also address the relevance of the course content for consumer product design. We will provide an overview of the design process, discuss the role of anthropometric data in this process, and present specific human-centered design guidelines for manual materials handling tasks, patient lifting in healthcare, manual upper extremity tasks, power tools and hand held products. Other topics will include designing office environments, cost justifying design recommendations, engineering design optimization methods and the most current cutting-edge technology using work simulation, digital human models and virtual/augmented reality in the occupational design process.

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