German firm unveils 5th gen smart bionic power suit
EP&T MagazineAutomation / Robotics Electronics AI robotics
AI-powered exoskeleton adds new dimensions for human augmentation in manual handling environments
German Bionic, global specialists and technology leader for connected robotic exoskeletons, announced the fifth generation of its award-winning Cray X – a smart German Bionic power suit.
The new model incorporates major enhancements including active walking assistance, IP54 waterproofing, as well as a more powerful 40V battery and completely revamped energy management system. In addition, the unique onboarding assistant makes getting started straightforward, and the Smart Safety Companion – German Bionic’s AI-based early warning system for ergonomics – maximizes workplace safety and helps businesses achieve their ESG and sustainability goals more easily.
Providing up to 66lb (30 kg) of support per lifting movement, the fully connected German Bionic Cray X already enjoys a strong track record of protecting the lower backs of workers involved in heavy lifting at companies such as BMW and Ikea as well as at France-based international parcel delivery service specialist DPD, which employs 48,000 people and handles close to 2 billion parcels annually. The newest Cray X model now expands the fields of application further and opens up new dimensions in human augmentation.
Key enhancements include:
The fifth generation Cray X is the first exoskeleton of its kind to support two regions of the body. It works by gently pushing the legs forward when loads need to be moved from a to b. It thereby helps reduce premature exhaustion and preserve the energy levels of workers conducting tasks involving both lifting and walking.
The Cray X is equipped to handle extremely wet and dusty working environments with ease. Fully tested in accordance with the IP54 standard to be completely dust and waterproof, it is now fit for a whole range of additional use cases such as construction sites, outdoor warehouses, or automotive workshops.
More powerful 40V platform
A 40 V battery and an entirely revamped energy management system are incorporated to deliver more power to the exoskeleton and enhance the overall user experience. The new 40 V system also eliminates unnecessary downtimes resulting from battery changes thanks to its clever hot-swapping capability. The uninterruptible power supply means wearers benefit from effectively unlimited usage times.
The Smart Safety Companion unlocks further potentials for worker safety in manual handling environments and helps boost business performance. The integrated AI-based early warning system for ergonomics alerts against signs of poor posture and incorrect lifting practices. It thereby actively assists in preventing fatigue and resulting errors as well as injuries. Extensive reporting functions are also available to managers on the intuitive dashboard, providing a practical method for monitoring and documenting the achievement of increasingly important
ESG and sustainability goals
As with its predecessor, the lightweight, carbon fiber structure Cray X easily connects to industrial IoT platforms and all smart factory ecosystems, facilitating true integration in business processes. This means manual handling can be effectively incorporated in the digital workflow allowing for automated benchmarking against a company’s KPIs.
“AI is the basis for the ongoing development of exoskeleton technology and the future of human augmentation,” said Norma Steller, head of IoT at German Bionic. “Our cloud-based platform for exoskeletons is unique in the industry, providing German Bionic with the data necessary to advance machine learning, cultivate AI applications and continue driving our R&D efforts to new levels. With the fifth generation Cray X, we have taken further significant steps in this direction.”
Even those without previous experience with operating exoskeletons will swiftly reap rewards from the Cray X. A new onboarding assistant gives helpful hints and instructions on the integrated display to make the process of getting started and working safer and more efficiently for better health and wellbeing in the long-term a decidedly short-term affair.
“The innovations we are announcing today pave the way for more people and businesses throughout the world to benefit across a wider range of use cases and industries,” added Armin Schmidt, CEO of German Bionic.