Hyundai Develops VEX Exoskeleton to Support Assembly Line Workers

To help workers who spend long hours operating in overhead environments, Hyundai has developed an exoskeleton. It’s aimed at workers who do things such as bolting the underside of vehicles, fitting brake tubes, and attaching exhausts. The wearable robot will be one of the first in the world to be implemented on an assembly line.

The Vest Exoskeleton (VEX) enhances productivity and reduces fatigue of industrial workers by imitating the movement of human joints to boost load support and mobility. The wearable vest combines multiple pivot points with multi-link muscular assistance – to function, eliminating the need for a battery.

Hyundai Exoskeleton VEX - YellRobot
credit: Hyundai

Hyundai VEX Exoskeleton Only Weighs 5.5 Pounds

The Vex weighs about 5.5 pounds which is about 22-42% less than similar products. It’s worn like a backpack in which the user places their arms through the shoulder straps of the vest, then fastens the chest and waist buckles. The back can fit a variety of body sizes adjusting in length by up to 7 inches. The degree of force assistance can be adjusted over six levels.

“VEX gives workers greater load support, mobility, and adaptability when operating in overhead environments,” stated DongJin Hyun, head of Robotics team of Hyundai Motor Group. “Workers will also appreciate how light VEX is to wear and work with.”

Hyundai Exoskeleton to Go Into Commercial Production in December

The pilot program took place at two Hyundai Motor Group plants in the United States. It was widely successful in assisting workers and boosting productivity. The company is currently considering implementing the VEX exoskeleton in plants around the world.  

In December, the Vex is expected to go into commercial production via Hyundai owned South Korean manufacturing company Rotem. As far as pricing goes, each unit is projected to cost about 30% lower than existing products which usually cost around $5,000 dollars.

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