Piloting the Use of an Upper Limb Passive Exoskeleton in Automotive Industry: Assessing User Acceptance and Intention of Use
The exoskeletons are being developed and recommended worldwide as wearable devices that could be used by workers exposed to demanding working conditions, such as overhead work. Many studies, designed for laboratory research, have been carried out so far and most of them came to the same kind of conclusions. With these findings it is expected that user acceptance (UA) and intention of use (IU) would not be a concern. This study was designed to assess UA and IU of an upper limb exoskeleton, Skelex MARK 1.3®, in a group of workstations, where technical and organizational measures implemented were not enough to reduce the exposure risk to overhead work and/or work above shoulder level, from an automotive industry assembly line. The exoskeleton was tested in 6 workstations, by 88 workers, during 4 consecutive weeks, since UA and IU are influenced by factors which only exist in real working scenarios.
KeywordsPassive exoskeleton Upper limb exoskeleton Automotive industry User acceptance
The author acknowledge Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT - MCTES) for its financial support via the project UIDB/00667/2020 (UNIDEMI).
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