Are exoskeletons the future of warehousing?

This is the hybrid assistive limb, or HAL, exoskeleton and is the invention of the Japanese company Cyberdyne (yes, like in Terminator) that can be worn by anyone. It can be used to improve and augment the users natural strength and by physically impaired people to improve their mobility. The full suit provides additional support to the wearer to improve their ability to lift heavy objects.

It’s real world applications could vary widely from emergency services and military use to commercial warehousing. Who needs a forklift truck for heavy goods when you have one of these?

The HAL-5 model weighs about 50lbs (23kgs) and increases the wearer’s lifting capacity by up to ten times. It is powered by on-board batteries and can currently operate for approximately 3 hours before needing to be recharged.

The suit operates by a  ‘voluntary control system’ that provides movement interpreting the wearer’s intention from the bio signals in advance of the actual movement. The HAL system is hailed as the world’s first cyborg–type robot controlled by this unique hybrid system.

Could you see this being used in a warehouse environment? It could greatly improve productivity by reducing lifting fatigue while reducing the number of injuries associated with manual handling. What do you think?

Published by A Kennedy

An award winning, UK based, International Logistics Manager for a multinational tool company. Over 25 years experience in international logistics and supply chain management. Elected ‘Chartered Status’ by the CILT and ‘Expert Status’ by the IoSCM.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s