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.
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.
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.