Moving company DMS Weissenhorn lightens the load of movers with AI-based exoskeletons

DMS Weissenhorn, a moving company based on our home turf in the Swabian region of Germany, managed our move to the new German Bionic headquarters in Augsburg. So, it was only logical for them to put our AI-based exoskeleton Apogee to the test while hauling the furniture and moving boxes. The result: Two tons of weight compensation on the day along with four thrilled and high-spirited movers. The company now wants to closely evaluate the smart power suits and look into all the various potential use cases.

ABOUT DMS

The furniture moving company H. Weissenhorn & Cie. has been based in Augsburg, Germany, for 185 years. Today, the medium- sized business is part of DMS Deutsche Möbelspedition – one of Germany’s leading transport associations with 120 locations nationwide. www.umzug-schwaben.de

THE CHALLENGE

When it comes to the task of moving and storing, removalists need to lift and carry enormous amounts of furniture, boxes,
and crates day in, day out. Stairwells, in particular, can be a challenge. For one thing, it certainly demands a lot of strength to climb up and down stairs fully laden – and places considerable strain on the lower back and legs. For another, even the most experienced movers often find it a real grind to heave heavy objects such as a safe or a piano through narrow or winding stairwells. A further frequent problem for the back is that the movers often need to handle the objects with a twisted posture or must regrip the items while carrying them.

“Even some movers who might still be relatively young sometimes experience problems with their backs or knees, which are the typical stress points. I can already imagine them saying, ‘If I can work with an Apogee like this in the future, I’ll be able to last a few years longer in the job’.“

Manuela Bernardy
Managing Director of the H. Weissenhorn & Cie. GmbH moving company, Augsburg, Germany

THE SOLUTION

The AI-based Apogee exoskeletons from German Bionic offer extra power for two body regions: They provide support of up
to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) per lifting movement to help, in particular, when hauling heavy objects such as cabinets or pianos. In addition, they deliver active walking support to conserve energy when climbing stairs fully laden. The small and lightweight power suits can be strapped on like a backpack and provide information on a display about the respective weight compensation delivered, the steps taken, and more. This means that not only the wearer feels the difference and is less exhausted at the end of their shift, but the actual relief can be precisely measured by the device thanks to the corresponding real data.

THE RESULT

The Weissenhorn removal company’s team gladly welcomed the robotic assistance. After the two days of testing, the movers were keen to work with the power suits for longer periods of time. The two tonnes of weight compensation on our moving day impressed them. They see a great field of application especially in carrying heavy items of furniture. During our move, a new use case even emerged: If a piece of furniture slips out of the hands while being carried or threatens to fall, the exoskeleton provides stability by catching it. This is because the sensors react within seconds and thus cushion a jerky movement of the back. And last but not least: The moving day was enjoyed by all.

“I was truly blown away by how comfortable the exoskeletons are. I had also imagined turning and bending to be much more complicated or difficult.“

Manuela Bernardy
Managing Director of the H. Weissenhorn & Cie. GmbH moving company, Augsburg, Germany

BENEFITS

  • Hybrid automation: Integration of manual workplaces into digital processes
  • Smart augmentation: Relieves up to 30 kg (66 lbs) per lift
  • Use cases: Activities such as lifting and carrying, loading and unloading or constant work in a bent posture
  • Real-time data: Networking with data insight platforms for analysis and monitoring
  • AI-based: Learns with every use
  • Motivation via display: Gamification and recommendations for ergonomic measures
  • Prevention of work-related musculo- skeletal disorders (MSD)
  • Maximum safety thanks to unique closed housing design
  • Protection against accidents at work
  • Completely dust and waterproof, disinfectable
  • Tested in real everyday work


More resources