In case you needed reminding, building cars is hard. And I don’t mean just the supply chain management and viable sales network aspect of it; the physical task of assembling a car at a plant is tough work. To ease the toll of heavy lifting and other arduous tasks (like beating up on xenomorphs), Ford is equipping its employees with new upper body exoskeleton technology.
The EksoVest is a wearable tool that Ford has rolled out to its employees in 15 plants in seven countries. It’s for workers who perform a lot of overhead tasks, like reaching up with a power tool to screw in some bolts on a car’s brace while standing under it. It helps to elevate and support an employee’s arms while they work.
Ford describes a typical day of some of its manufacturing employees as something similar to “lifting a bag of flour or a watermelon over your head up to 4,600 times a day as part of your job.”
The EksoVest would help reduce risk of injury and fatigue. Here’s how it works:
The EksoVest fits workers ranging from 5 feet 2 inches tall to 6 feet 4 inches tall and provides lift assistance from five pounds to 15 pounds per arm. Ford workers say it’s comfortable because it’s lightweight and not bulky, allowing them to move their arms easily.
The press release, however, says nothing about how the EksoVest would fare against a xenomorph queen. Yet, if it can help workers lift bags of flour or watermelons up and down 4,600 times a day, it’s probably also pretty useful for this: