Development of a Standardized Ergonomic Assessment Methodology for Exoskeletons Using Both Subjective and Objective Measurement Techniques
Awkward postures, high loads, and highly repetitive tasks are risk factors for developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders, which are the main reason for sick days in manufacturing. Overhead work, specifically, is a high-risk factor for developing musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulder, which account for the longest sick leaves among all musculoskeletal disorders.
Assistive devices, such as exoskeletons, seek to reduce the stresses associated with overhead work, and have even been suggested as a preventative measure for musculoskeletal disorders.
To investigate the physiological consequences of passive upper limb exoskeletons a standardized holistic assessment methodology, including one subjective (Borg CR-10) and three objective measurement techniques (EMG, ergo spirometry combined with heart rate and NIRS). A set of static, dynamic, and simulated assembly tasks in combination with a suitable test rig is developed and preliminary study results are presented.
KeywordsOverhead work Work related musculoskeletal disorders Exoskeleton Ergonomic assessment EMG NIRS Ergo spirometry
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