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Comau and Össur invest in Iuvo to build exoskeletons for industry


Comau and Össur are investing a company called Iuvo, which is building an exoskeleton. 

Iuvo is a spin-off company of the BioRobotics Institute, at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Italy, which is researching and developing products in the field of wearable technologies.

The objective of Iuvo is to create wearable, intelligent and active tools for a better quality of life, says the company. 

The first examples are robotic exoskeletons which it says are capable of aiding and improving the quality of life for workers in industrial and service fields and for patients in need of improved mobility.

Iuvo was founded in 2015 by a team of post-doctorates, professors and researchers with the objective to exploit the achievements of national and European research projects, such as the FP7 ICT CyberLegs.


Comau and Össur now hold a majority share of Iuvo. In the joint venture between Comau and Össur, Comau is a majority holder.

The new venture is backed by strong strategic and technological synergies that each partner brings to the table, say the two companies.

The main objective is the research and development – as well as the launch – of new wearable robotic technologies, such as the exoskeletons.

Comau, which is part of the Fiat Chrysler Group, is an industrial automation company which makes industrial robots.

Össur is a specialist in non-invasive orthopedics that improve human mobility.

A fundamental aspect of the venture is the joint desire to progress and evolve human-machine collaboration within diverse sectors, including biomedical, manufacturing and consumer.

Iuvo will operate from the headquarters inside the Comau Humanufacturing Innovation Center in Pisa, Italy, with a group of engineers and researchers.

The plan is to develop and commercialize wearable technologies.

Mauro Fenzi, CEO of Comau, says: “This joint venture represents a key step toward the creation of wearable robotic exoskeletons that can enhance human mobility and quality of life.

“By uniting the know-how and enabling technologies of the various partners, we are in a unique position to extend the use of robotics beyond manufacturing and toward a truly progressive global reality.

“I believe the differentiating factor of a project like IUVO is the combination of Comau’s automation skills and Össur’s extensive experience in bionics and bracing to enable the production of products, such as the exoskeletons, and to be able to demonstrate the benefits of robotics.”

Dr Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, executive vice president of R&D at Össur, says: “The combination of world-class talent, new ideas, advanced robotics and biomedical expertise bodes well for this new venture.

“I am convinced that the development of intelligent and adaptive wearable technologies will help shape a better future.”

Professor Dr Nicola Vitiello, leader of the wearable robotics laboratory of the BioRobotics Institute and founding partner of Iuvo, says: “The complementary nature of cutting-edge research in science and technology allows us to create unique products that can enhance the way people move and perform.

“Furthermore, these devices represent a long-term, sustainable answer to help increase the level of independence of those in need and, more generally, foster innovative life styles that promote our wellbeing.”

Prof Dr Maria Chiara Carrozza, former rector of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and founding partner of Iuvo, says: “Iuvo is not just another spin-off company.

“When we founded it we had the ambition to contribute to revolutionize the society by fostering a large adoption of service robotic technologies.

“Indeed, we are at the start of a new industrial revolution that will be enabled by the advancement of robotics and artificial intelligence technology.

“In this frame [context], Iuvo has the ambition – thanks to the strategic alliance with two large industries [industrial companies] – to pose [construct] a building block.”