INTRODUCTION:
In order to understand what was tested we need to know some basic information.
In the second half of 2017 a human augmentation was done at a manufacturer of steel products.
Test was conducted in the work environment of the manufacturer, with and without the LAEVO.
The test was guided by Go X Studio Inc. (www.goxstudio.com).

ABOUT:
LAEVO: the LAEVO is designed to alleviate, reduce and/or prevent work related lower back pain due to a forward bended work position.
Go X Studio: the Go X Studio technology is used to improve the performance and health of industrial workers, recreational and professional athletes, the elderly and even soldiers and rescue workers in the field.
Manufacturer: the steel products of the manufacturer are used by the majority of the house holds in the US and abroad.

SCOPE OF THE HUMAN AUGMENTATION:
Here are the main questions the manufacturer wanted answered:
1. Does the LAEVO reduce fatigue?
2. Does the LAEVO increase form?
3. Does the LAEVO help to reduce injuries?

MATERIALS USED:
Steel products of manufacturer – weight ranging from 7 lbs to 14 lbs
LAEVO (Version V2.4) different sizing’s
Go X Studio: Hart Rate Monitor device
Go X Studio: Motion Registration device (MoPod)
Go X Studio: APP and Data Dashboard

THE WORK:
The worker needs to pick two items of 7 lbs between knee and waist height and place them on a surface on three levels: ankle height, waist height and shoulder height. Sixteen items on each level.

TEST SETUP:

Aug 29-Sep 5 (week 1)

  • Consent form
  • Initial assessment with LAEVO to check fit and response
  • Training on APP, COM MoPod, and Heart Rate Monitor
  • Baseline1 assessment (no LAEVO) for the next 4 days

Oct 19- Oct 26 (week 8/9)

  • Retraining New Personnel
  • Refit
  • Baseline2 assessment (no LAEVO) for 8 days focusing on specific tasks

Sep 6-Dec 8 (14 weeks)

  • Assessment with Laevo

TEST RESULTS:

LAEVO decreased VO2 on average by 4%

Work output increased by ~75% (comparison of total lifts), while work exertion decreased  by 4% (comparison of VO2)

Lifting form did not improve on average (comparison of bad and good lifts), however the study ended on a high note, 0.51 good lift ratio.

CONCLUSION:
1. LAEVO does provide VO2 (work exertion benefit)
2. LAEVO has not improved form
3. Large variance in exertion, form and output worker to worker
4. Work platform at the designated work area reinforces twisting motion and muscle imbalance.

REMARKS:
The test showed a number of interesting findings. Although the LAEVO is a fairly simple exoskeleton, the user had to get used to the possibilities of the LAEVO. At first the user needed to get accustomed to the hard structure on his body, he needed to get to know the LAEVO. The LAEVO has several possibilities to adjust the settings to more comfort, which the user did not understand in the beginning.
The users complained about the pressure on the legs and the chest.

Another interesting finding is that during the test the demand for the manufacturers product increased, this resulted in an increase of production of 75% and still the oxygen consumption decreased by 4% (on average*). In other words: the worker produced more while consuming less energy. This seems to be a win-win in terms of injury predictors and productivity.

*An other interesting fact is that the results showed that the LAEVO benefits each worker in different ways.

With regards to a better lifting posture the test showed that almost all subjects needed to rotate and bend forward out side the defined good lift position, to lower the items on the surfaces.
Imagine bending into a box at waist height, lifting a bag of 40lbs out of the box, there is no possibility to perform a good lift.