General Results to Date

In 2021 and 2022, 71 subjects participated in total (Parcours 1: n=14; Parcours 2: n=14; Parcours 3: n=41).

The subjects were young men aged 17 to 34 years and an average age of 23 years, who were familiar with the work they had to do in the Parcours.  

The experiments took place at Audi Education Lab, Neckarsulm (9.2021), Wilhelm Maybach Berufsschule Stuttgart (10.2021), Messe Duesseldorf (10.2021) and SLV Nord Hamburg (02.2022).

The exoskeletons from different manufacturers were randomly assigned to the subjects to keep market neutrality and not to indicate the advantages and disadvantages of a particular system.

We thank all wonderful contributing people and institutions for making this great experiment happen. Please find them all in the CONTRIBUTING PARTNERS List.

Subjective Feedback

Subjective Feedback on the activity, wearing comfort and usability of the exoskeleton is collected via a questionnaire. 

The results are presented as a median.

Effort of the task

The BORG-Scale (0-10) was used to describe the task's effort. In general, the effort of the task is lower with an exoskeleton than without an exoskeleton. In Parcour 1, the effort of the task is rated as 5 without exoskeleton and 3 with exoskeleton. It is a difference of 40.0%. Parcour 2 has a median of 4.5 without exoskeleton and 3 with exoskeleton (difference of 33.33%) and Parcour 3 of 6 without and 4 with exoskeleton (difference of 33.33%).

Body Discomfort

The Body Discomfort questions measure the discomfort of body areas during the task. The graph shows the areas explicitly supported by the exoskeleton. Parcour 1 with back-supporting exoskeletons focuses on the lower back, buttocks, and upper and lower legs. In Parcours 2 and 3, the upper body is particularly stressed, so the neck, shoulder, forearm, and upper back body areas are addressed in more detail. 


Overall, the body discomfort in specific areas are relieved by the exoskeletons. The highest reduction in Parcour 1 is found in the lower back and buttocks; in Parcour 2, it is in the neck and Parcour 3 in the forearm.

System Usability Scale

The System of Usability Scale (SUS) uses validated questions and a mathematical formula to show the usability of devices such as exoskeletons. The test subjects evaluated the ease of use of the exoskeletons in Parcours 1, 2 and 3 between good and excellent. 

Quality

The quality in Parcour 2 is measured with the in the automotive common "Methods-Time-Measurement" (MTM) and an error score during the task painting. 

Parcour 3 detects the quality of welding seam via a score of the system. 

The results of the MTM are represented with the mean, the error score as well as the wealding score are described by the median.

Method-Time-Measurement

The MTM increases with the exoskeleton. In painting, the difference between without and with the exoskeleton is the largest at 9.9%. The difference is the smallest in assembly clips with 3.5% and disassembly cables with 3.1%.

Painting error score

The painting error score is calculated by counting the pixels painted over a specified line. The error score increases by 15.3% with an exoskeleton. Looking deeper into the individual painting scores, there is large variability. A comparison between the error score and the corresponding working time shows that the error score is higher when the needed working time is shorter and vice versa.

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Parcours

Specific parcours modules are developed with industrial relevance to simulate realistic work processes. 

 

Impressions

Impressions and pictures of the experiments already performed.

 

Contributing Partners

Contributing partners as experts, exoskeleton manufactures and industries. You want to be part?