PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Wearable and Hands-Free Solutions
From a pick-by-vision system that uses smart glasses to exoskeletons that provide support during each lifting movement, these wearables and hands-free innovations boost worker safety and productivity in the warehouse.
• Picavi Pick-By-Vision: Picavi’s pick-by-vision system uses smart glasses to visually guide workers through order picking processes. Interactions with the software are controllable via voice commands. Picavi offers its user interface not only on smart glasses but also on managed devices, smartphones, and tablets so warehouse managers have a single point of contact for the software infrastructure of their wearables.
• BackX: The BackX exoskeleton from Ottobock lets logistics associates move loads more easily while retaining flexibility. The exoskeleton reduces the load on the lower back by an average of 60% during lifting tasks, while allowing for a high degree of freedom of movement so that employees can perform activities such as operating forklift trucks and climbing stairs. Logistics provider DB Schenker is using the BackX model at several logistics centers.
• German Bionic Exoskeleton: The smart exoskeleton from German Bionic provides up to 66 pounds of support per lifting movement. The exoskeleton can be integrated into companies’ digital workflows through the German Bionic IO platform, which displays their safety and ergonomic data.
• Honeywell CW45: The CW45 wearable computer from Honeywell offers a low-profile, 4.7-inch HD display and comes with accessories. Built on Honeywell’s Mobility Edge platform, the device improves productivity by ergonomically presenting the workflow information at the point of activity and integrating the tools needed for warehouse workers to perform the job at hand.
• HeroWear Apex 2: HeroWear’s back-assist exosuit helps warehouse workers perform demanding movements such as lifting and sustained or repeated bending, without restricting freedom of movement. The Apex 2 weighs less than 3 pounds and can take 75 pounds of strain off a typical worker’s back with every lift. It reduces muscle strain and fatigue by up to 40% without motors or batteries.
• LYDIA Voice App: Available on Android devices, EPG’s LYDIA Voice is a pick-by-voice solution with multi-language recognition. Requiring no voice template training, LYDIA Voice is 100% voice-controlled, which means the user does not have to pick up or hold the device in warehouse picking operations. An expanded demo app is now available free of charge from the Google Play store.
• ProGlove Scanner: ProGlove’s wearable barcode scanners can now be integrated with ResGreen’s BotWay software and LilBuddy autonomous mobile robot (AMR). After a worker scans a product or load, it can be moved to its next destination by LilBuddy to minimize walking and reduce monotonous tasks for workers. ResGreen’s LilBuddy AMR can move loads up to 220 pounds without tape, reflectors, or tags.
• MATE-XT Exoskeleton: The MATE-XT wearable exoskeleton from Comau replicates shoulder movements, helping warehouse employees perform their jobs comfortably by reducing muscle fatigue without limiting mobility or adding bulk. The exoskeleton can be adjusted to fit different body types and provide the required level of assistance based on the worker or the job at hand. Manufacturer John Deere recently deployed the solution in its parts logistics operations.