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Exoskeleton technology can ­transform factories of the future
2nd Quarter 2017, Robotics & Mechatronics


Automation and artificial intelligence are paving the way for human robotic collaboration, finds Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation Team. Exoskeletons will see higher adoption across industries such as automotive, manufacturing, defence and healthcare. In factories they can empower workers, improve ergonomy and provide safety by increasing automation, thus improving quality, reducing waste and lowering absenteeism due to injuries. Understanding the costs, benefits and return on investment (ROI) of exoskeleton integration into assembly lines could also be the first step toward human robotic collaboration (HRC). Exoskeletons will play a critical role in the future of smart factories. By 2020 firms across most industries will use some form of exoskeleton technology, and by 2025 concepts such as HRC will replace exoskeletons, resulting in increased collaboration between humans and robots.

The potential for seamless integration within a factory setting, lower maintenance costs and an attractive ROI, with a payback period of less than one year, indicates tremendous promise for exoskeleton technology. As significant cost benefits in terms of productivity and insurance for

workers propel the technology forward, several players are offering innovative solutions, including Noonee, Exso Bionics, Cyberdyne, Active Bionics, Robo Mate, Lockheed-Martin, Bioservo Technologies and Sarcos. “The evolution of artificial intelligence and machine learning will result in intelligent autonomous robots that sense surroundings and work effectively with human beings to initiate multifold levels of efficiency. Exo-skeletons have a very unique role in future human-robot or cobot factories,” concludes research analyst Vijay Natarajan Natarajan.

For more information contact Samantha James, Frost & Sullivan, +27 (0)21 680 3574, samantha.james@frost.com, www.frost.com


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