Hilti North America has unveiled a wearable exoskeleton that will help commercial contractors, tradesman and management alike tackle health and safety as well as labour shortage challenges.
The new human augmentation device called EXO-O1 wearable exoskeleton was created in partnership with Ottobock, a global leader in prosthetics, orthotics and exoskeletons.
Wearable systems like exoskeletons will help reduce strain and fatigue for both experienced and novice users, at a time when the industry is managing a workforce shortage challenge.
Hilti is currently in real-world jobsite testing and will be bringing the exoskeleton to the market later this year.
“We want to improve the health and safety of our customers, directly impacting jobsite productivity – so they can stay on time and on budget,” said Johannes Huber, head of business unit Diamond Systems at Hilti Group, parent company of Hilti North America. “Customers that embrace innovation and invest in the latest health and safety technology will be better able to attract and retain the best people as well as keep their jobsites productive.”
The EXO-O1 is Hilti’s first foray into exoskeletons for the construction industry. There will be more human augmentation developments to come from the brand. The exoskeleton development is initially focused on overhead and shoulder height and above applications because this type of motion is so physically intensive and fatiguing.
The machinery is only part of the company’s solution. Hilti understands that for customers to embrace technology transformation, it requires organizational change management and a focus on people. That’s why they also plan to offer implementation, training and support services on site for Hilti’s customers and their teams.
“Our innovations have always been fueled by our deep understanding of our customers’ challenges and needs, so it’s only natural that we can drive innovation with solutions for human augmentation and jobsite automation,” said Rafael Garcia, Senior VP and CMO of Hilti North America. “Human augmentation and jobsite automation innovations, alone or combined, will create productivity gains the likes of which haven’t been seen since cordless tools got a foothold in commercial construction.”