The exoskeleton (a wearable device that workers use to reduce lower back stress in assembly lines and warehouses) competes with valuable resources in the brain and wears them while people are working. New research suggests that it may negate the physical benefits.
Studies recently published in the journal Applied ergonomics, When people wear the exoskeleton while performing tasks that require them to think about their behavior, the brain works overtime and the body competes with the exoskeleton rather than working in harmony with the exoskeleton. I found out that I would do it. This study shows that the exoskeleton can overwhelm the brain and counteract its potential benefits to the body.
“It’s like dancing with a really bad partner,” said William Maras, senior author and integrated professor of research. System engineering Director of the Ohio State University Spine Research Institute.
“The exoskeleton is trying to predict your movements, but it’s not working, so when you fight the exoskeleton, this change happens in your brain, which changes your muscle mobilization. It can also put a lot of pressure on your lower back. There is a possibility of pain and injury. “
For research, researchers asked 12 people (6 men and 6 women) to lift repeatedly. Medicine ball In two 30-minute sessions. In one of the sessions, participants wore exoskeletons. For others, they didn’t.
The exoskeleton, which is attached to the user’s chest and legs, is designed to help control posture and movement when lifting to protect the lower back and reduce the chance of injury.
Researchers used infrared sensors to evaluate participants Brain activity The force exerted on each participant’s lower back was measured during each session.We also tracked the number of times each participant was able to lift the drug. ball In each session.
Then, in separate sessions, I asked the same participants to perform the same tasks. That is, in one session wearing the exoskeleton, lift the ball of medicine for 30 minutes, but added a mental task. And every time they lift the ball 1,000.
They found that the exoskeleton slightly reduced the load on the lower back of the participant when the participant was simply raising and lowering the ball. But when the participants had to do math in their heads raising and lowering the ball, those benefits disappeared.
Assembly line exoskeleton users may not need to do math in their heads, but all sorts of psychological stress, such as psychological stress and the instructions they must follow, can have the same effect. There is, says Maras.
“When we saw what was happening in the brain, the competition for those resources in the brain intensified,” Maras said. “The person was doing that mental arithmetic, but the brain was also trying to find a way to help the body interact with the exoskeleton, which mobilizes the muscles to perform the task. I confused the way. “
When those muscles compete with each other brain Researchers have found that it has become less efficient and has increased back force.
“For companies that spend hundreds or thousands of dollars per exoskeleton, Exoskeleton It doesn’t help employees at all. “
“All exoskeletons aren’t bad, but people are cluttered and everyone is different. You need to use an exoskeleton that has some intelligence and some understanding of what you’re doing.”
Use the exoskeleton with caution when lifting heavy objects
Yibo Zhu et al, Neuro-biomechanical trade-offs related to human-exoskeleton interactions, Applied ergonomics (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.apergo.2021.103494
Ohio State University
Quote: There is a problem with the exoskeleton: https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-exoskeletons-problem-strain-brain.html Brain obtained on July 22, 2021 (July 22, 2021) May put a burden on the day)
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