Hyundai’s exoskeleton wearable robot, the Vest Exoskeleton (VEX), has won the Product Design category (Innovative Product field) at the Red Dot Design Awards – the prestigious international design competition, now in its 60th year.
The VEX exoskeleton was developed by Hyundai Motor Group to prevent injuries. It is primarily designed for production-line workers who need to work with their hands above their heads, usually on the underside of vehicles on the assembly line.
VEX has already won the hearts of workers who have used it, claims the manufacturer. Hyundai Motor Group ran pilot programs in its U.S. plants, receiving positive feedback from the workers as it reduced fatigue in their arms and shoulders while boosting productivity and safety.
“This award is a testament to the collaboration between Robotics Lab and Hyundai Design Center,” said Dong Jin Hyun, Head of Robotics Lab at Hyundai Motor Group. “Under Hyundai’s brand vision of “Progress for Humanity”, our lab has been trying to pioneer robotics through converging various technologies. With the success of and recognition of VEX, Hyundai will continue developing novel products that will provide people with better life quality.”
The compact design is achieved using the latest technology that eliminates the need for a battery. VEX, which users wear like a backpack, features a polycentric axis to provide a maximum force of 5.5 kgf despite only weighing 2.8 kg.
In addition to VEX, Hyundai Motor Group is working on another lightweight wearable robot, Chairless Exoskeleton (CEX). With CEX, workers can easily maintain a sitting position without a stool or chair. Hyundai Motor Group also has a Medical Exoskeleton, MEX. Building on these wearable robots, Hyundai Motor Group plans to develop additional ones that will enhance productivity and work safety as well as support rehabilitation of injured patients.
The Group is considering implementing VEX in plants around the world.