21 May 2024

Fully passive exoskeleton helps ensure better safety and well-being for operators


Comau and IUVO, in collaboration with Esselunga, have announced they have developed a new wearable exoskeleton specifically designed to reduce lower back fatigue during lifting and repetitive tasks.

Created with the aim of improving ergonomics for operators engaged in manually moving loads, it was tested at Esselunga Group, a leading large-scale retail trade company. Without using a motor or batteries, the exoskeleton provides passive assistance to the lower back muscles that are used during lifting and handling. It thus creates short- and long-term benefits for the wearer through the significant reduction in physical effort and fatigue.

The newest Comau wearable exoskeleton stores human energy in a spring. It accommodates the specific needs of workers engaged in moving cumbersome loads by supporting users when bending their backs and during repetitive lifting. Comau says easy to wear and quickly adjustable to fit virtually any body frame, the lightweight carbon fibre structure is water, dust, and element resistant for both indoor and outdoor use, even in highly corrosive marine environments.

Said to be perfect for logistics, fulfilment, manual palletising & depalletising, manual pick & place, and bending and lifting from a floor level, MATE-XB replicates the user’s physiological movements to provide optimal lumbar support without batteries, motors or other failure-prone devices. The intuitive and easy-to-use design grants full mobility of the entire body and features a quick on/off switching functionality, allowing users to regulate the exoskeleton without interrupting the task at hand.

Pietro Gorlier, Comau CEO said: “Comau’s commitment to increased sustainability in the workplace extends to the development of innovative solutions that ensure ergonomics and well-being at an operator level. For the last six years we have been developing wearable robotic solutions together with IUVO, a spin-off company of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of which Comau holds a majority share. We believe the market for wearable robotics will expand at a 25% growth rate over the next 3 years, according to internal estimates based on market research data. (1) Collaborating with an authoritative Italian partner and leader in its market such as Esselunga in the design and validation phases has been key to ensuring that the wearability, features and functionality of MATE-XB are worker tested and approved before deploying the exoskeleton in other industry sectors.”


[1]  Frost & Sullivan report 2021 Robotic Exoskeletons: Roadmapping and Impact Analysis Market Growth, Share & Size (frost.com)




Company info: Comau