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RVC's Daughter Company Successfully Tests Industrial Exoskeleton

Source: IA Rosinformburo

The ExoAtlant company, a spin-off of the portfolio company of the RVC ExoAtlet Biofund portfolio, tested an industrial exoskeleton jointly with the “Scientific Research Institute of Occupational Medicine named after Academician NF. Izmerov.” The study results showed the safety and effectiveness of the development in those areas of production where physical labor associated with lifting and holding weights is used.

ExoAtlant is the first Russian industrial exoskeleton with officially confirmed effectiveness. It allows reducing the pressure on the spine during production operations, avoiding injuries to workers, and reducing the rate of disability.

In the biomedical tests of the industrial exoskeleton, ExoAtlant was attended by experts in clinical, sports, and preventive medicine, as well as engineering. The experiment was carried out for six weeks, nine people, 21 to 44 years old, were tested for the ExoAtlant functional under conditions of modeling the professional activity of a manual worker. As part of the study, a constant assessment was carried out of the dynamics of the state of the cardiorespiratory system and the musculoskeletal system of the participants.

Laboratory studies revealed that the use of ExoAtlant reduced the energy expenditure of the human body to 35%, reducing the burden on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. A decrease in heart rate of up to 15% and a reduction in the amount of oxygen consumed by up to 23% were noted. The application of this development relieves tension from some skeletal muscles, reducing discomfort and pain in the employee due to physical activity. All volunteers who worked without an exoskeleton complained of pain and discomfort in their backs by the first hour of work; when applying the exoskeleton, only 4 out of 9 people noted similar changes, but only after the third and fourth hours of work.

Mikhail Krundyshev, CEO of ExoAtlet:
“Our approach to the topic of industrial exoskeletons is based on the competencies and knowledge gained in the ExoAtlet medical field, where we have already proved our professionalism and viability in biomechanics. The accumulated skills and experience are applied organically and naturally in the field of industrial exoskeletons. We do not create cyborgs; we strive to protect workers from injuries, while simultaneously increasing their effectiveness. In this matter, the biomedical evaluation of the exoskeleton is critical, and the Research Institute of MT is a leader in this direction. Therefore, we plan to carry out similar tests for all of our subsequent developments.”

The advancement concept of ExoAtlant implies the possibility of quick feedback from customers and direct users of an industrial exoskeleton with a view to its continuous improvement. Over the past year, for this purpose, the company organized many pilot projects in conjunction with Russian Railways, with immediate plans to conduct similar activities in Russia and South Korea. These countries were interested in developing the largest conglomerate of GS Group.

In the future, ExoAtlant intends to expand its product list: different modifications of the ExoAtlant exoskeleton will develop the functionality and make it possible to use industrial exoskeletons not only for loading/unloading operations and logistics hubs but also, for example, to introduce the exoskeleton in the construction and installation work processes, in production workshops, on the conveyor, and in the office.

Mikhail Fedotov, the Director of RVC subsidiary funds:
“The market for using industrial exoskeletons is quite spacious and has notable potential, which is why the development of ExoAtlant has good prospects. Despite the challenging conditions caused by the pandemic consequences, the ExoAtlet holding company shows a flexible approach. It develops competitiveness by diversifying its product line in several directions all at once. I hope that further testing of ExoAtlant, including directly at industrial enterprises, will confirm the relevance and effectiveness of the development.”

ExoAtlant is currently in the final stages of development; in fact, it is a finished product and is awaiting the certification process. However, there is still no legal framework and regulation of the introduction of industrial exoskeletons as personal protective equipment for production in the Russian market.

Andrei Geregey, Head of the Laboratory of Personal Protective Equipment and Industrial Exoskeletons, FSBI NII MT:
“In early 2019, our team, together with Russian exoskeleton developers, initiated the creation of a working group to discuss industrial exoskeletons' issues. Currently, under Order of Rosstandart No. 962 dated 21.05.2020, under the Personal Protective Equipment Technical Committee (TK 320), the Industrial Exoskeletons subcommittee (PK 11), organized at the FSBIU NII MT, has begun its work. The subcommittee's main task is to develop a regulatory and technical framework governing the testing at the stages of development, creation, and trial operation of samples. The biomedical assessment of industrial exoskeletons can significantly increase the reliability and objectivity of research. The introduction of industrial exoskeletons into production processes will eventually have a positive effect on the health of workers and diminish the percentage of occupational diseases in the workplace.”

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