There’s no need to fear that these robots will be stealing anyone’s jobs. In fact, they are making humans better at their jobs.
On Tuesday, Ford Motor Co. announced the rollout of robotic exoskeleton vests for employees in 15 of its factories in seven countries. The move follows a successful pilot of the technology in two vehicle assembly plants in Michigan.
Created through a partnership with Ekso Bionics, the EksoVest decreases risk of injury and fatigue for workers by lifting and supporting their arms while they perform tasks above their heads. For example, workers wear the vests when they screw in bolts to secure the brace while the car is overhead.
“Building vehicles is physically a tough job,” said Ford Group Vice President of Manufacturing and Labor Affairs Bruce Hettle in the announcement. “We care about our employees and are trying to help them do their jobs with the least amount of wear and tear on their bodies possible.”