BICS, a global communications enabler, is providing global internet-of-things connectivity and asset management for a pioneering exoskeleton developed by German Bionic.
The Cray X is the first connected asset from the Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) provider and marks the first instance of a European manufacturer developing, producing and deploying smart exoskeletons for use in industrial production.
Designed to support and enhance the wearer’s movements, German Bionic’s Cray X reduces the risk of accidents and excessive strain for employees in sectors that involve repetitive but unpredictable heavy lifting.
With the World Health Organisation citing musculoskeletal conditions as the leading contributor to disability worldwide, the exoskeleton is expected to have significant health benefits for thousands of industrial workers around the globe.
BICS’ SIM for Things® cellular connectivity solution embeds IoT connectivity within the Cray X, enabling data to be transmitted from sensors in the body-worn suit to smart factory systems and software.
Utilising machine learning, the exoskeleton learns the movements of its user and adjusts to suit each individual’s needs.
Through integration with existing back-end IT, smart factory and cloud-based management systems, businesses can easily analyse employees’ lifting behaviour and identify where improvements should be made.
SIM for Things® also enables German Bionic to benefit from secure reliable connectivity across 700 networks in more than 200 countries, making it possible for the company to ship its exoskeleton around the world.
The exoskeleton has already been successfully implemented by major manufacturing and logistics firms.
Mikaël Schachne, CMO and VP mobility and IoT business at BICS, says: “The IoT is a massively diverse ecosystem, and our latest partnership with German Bionic illustrates the breadth and scope of businesses BICS is working with, as well as the dynamic and adaptable nature of our SIM for Things solution.
“Secure, reliable, global connectivity underpins the IoT, making collaborations between international communications enablers like BICS, and innovative IoT players, OEMs and device manufacturers, crucial.
“Our SIM for Things can embed connectivity in almost any asset or device, equipping fleets of ‘things’ with intelligence as well as those managing or wearing them, no matter where in the world they are.”
Norma Hoeft, head of IoT at German Bionic, says: “Robots needn’t replace humans – instead, we’ve shown how technology can mimic and amplify tasks which have traditionally been triggers for injury and chronic pain.
“Simple management of the exoskeleton, as well as integration with legacy IT, will help improve health and safety and drive productivity for a growing number of global IoT firms.
“With locations in Germany and Tokyo, as well as customers across the world, German Bionic is a global company that required a global partner to deliver global connectivity – through our collaboration with BICS, the Cray X can be deployed, enhanced, and managed by a growing number of customers across the world.”