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comau PARTNERs WITH Heidelberg University to study new application areas for wearable robotics within industrial ENVIRONMENTS

With the objective of strengthening the use of wearable robotics to
facilitate human-machine collaboration, Comau and IUVO have partnered with
Heidelberg University, one of Europe’s leading research institutions. The
joint project aims to further quantify the degree to which the MATE-XT
exoskeleton can reduce physical stress during strenuous tasks involving
repetitive shoulder flexion movements within the German industrial context.
The scientific study will analyze the biomechanics of using MATE-XT for new
applications, under new conditions and within new industries and outdoor
environments, while verifying users’ learning and motor adaptation speeds.
The results achieved can be applied in similar conditions within other
contexts all over the world.

The joint collaboration is fueled by the strong synergies in bio-engineering
and advanced robotics that each partner brings to the table. Comau was
introduced to Heidelberg University by IUVO, a spin-off company of Scuola
Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy). The majority share of IUVO is held by a
joint venture between Comau and Össur, a market leader in the field of
non-invasive orthopedics that improve human mobility, in which Comau is the
majority holder. Comau has also co-developed both the original MATE and new
MATE-XT exoskeletons together with IUVO.

The vast wealth of experience and scientific evidence collected by Comau and
IUVO is the starting point of the new study. Heidelberg University will now
research biomechanical and productivity results, among other factors, with
the ultimate goal of collecting more data regarding MATE-XT’s effectiveness
for novel and highly-demanding applications.

“The collaboration with Heidelberg University underscores our commitment to
evolve the use of adaptive wearable technologies through the combination of
empirically-backed research, advanced robotics and biomedical expertise,”
said Giuseppe Colombina, Comau HUMANufacturing Innovation Hub Leader and CEO
of IUVO.

“The collaboration with Comau and IUVO is extremely strategic for my
research group at Heidelberg University. We have the chance to test a
certified device from a leading automation company, and one that is also
complementary to the robotic technology we have been designing here,”
emphasized Lorenzo Masia, Ph.D. and Tenured Professor in Medical Technology
and Biorobotics at Heidelberg University.

“The proliferation of wearable robotic devices represents a long-term,
sustainable answer to ensure wellbeing in the workplace,” explained Nicola
Vitiello, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and
founding partner of IUVO. “Our research with Heidelberg University, studying
the use of MATE-XT within the German industrial context, will amplify our
knowledge about the platform and potential development areas.”

The validation of breakthrough technologies in the field of biomedical
devices and wearable robotics is an important step toward improving the
quality of life for workers tasked with heavy, repetitive or highly manual
operations. According to Comau estimates, the global market for exoskeletons
alone will reach a 5-year CAGR of up to 40%, with the industrial sector
representing close to half of this.

About Comau
Comau, a member of the Stellantis, is a worldwide leader in delivering
advanced industrial automation products and systems. Its portfolio includes
technology and systems for electric, hybrid and traditional vehicle
manufacturing, industrial robots, collaborative and wearable robotics,
autonomous logistics, dedicated machining centers and interconnected digital
services and products able to transmit, elaborate and analyze machine and
process data. With over 45 years of experience and a strong presence within
every major industrial country, Comau is helping manufacturers of all sizes
in almost any industry experience higher quality, increased productivity,
faster time-to-market and lower overall costs. The company’s offering also
extends to project management and consultancy, as well as maintenance and
training for a wide range of industrial segments.

Headquartered in Turin, Italy, Comau has an international network of 7
innovation centers, 5 digital hubs, 8 manufacturing plants and employs more
than 9,000 people in 14 countries. A global network of distributors and
partners allows the company to respond quickly to the needs of customers, no
matter where they are located throughout the world. Through the training
activities organized by its Academy, Comau is also committed to developing
the technical and managerial knowledge necessary for companies to face the
challenges and opportunities of Industry 4.0.

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Thu. July 18th, 2024

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