Built to keep workers strong, healthy and efficient
Built to keep workers strong, healthy and efficient
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common occupational diseases in industries in the EU and North America, as well as one of the main causes for long-term sick leave for workers. Among these, the most prevalent injuries are upper limb related. At Bioservo, we are passionate about driving change forward, and we do it with technology suited for workers all over the world.
MSDs are injuries and disorders that affect the human body’s movement or musculoskeletal system (e.g. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etcetera.). Automation and industrialization of factories and work sites have contributed to great development in terms of improved health and safety for workers but have led to more grip-intensive work tasks. The bones, muscles and joints of the hand are not anatomically suited for exerting high force and are therefore exposed to several risk factors. Exposure to said risk factors is also increasing in younger working populations making it of the utmost importance to implement corrective actions to create a sustainable workplace.
Ergonomists practicing preventive measures in order to eliminate the need for rehabilitation and reduce or completely eradicate repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) and other workplace injuries can count on having a healthier and more happy workforce. Together we can create a safer work environment.
A study made by Chalmers University of Technology showed that 48 % of all injuries reported in a factory involved hand and wrist injuries
in yearly cost due to work related upper limb disorders (WRULDs) (OSHA)
An employee on sick leave is estimated to cost 10 % of his monthly salary per day. WRULD accounts for 45% of all occupational diseases (OSHA)
The pressure sensors in the glove activate the sophisticated control system in the Powerpack and pull artificial tendons in the fingers, creating a strong and natural grasping motion. The Smart Assist function uses machine learning and adopts the behavior of the glove based on how the operator is using the glove.
In addition to the Smart Assist function, the operator can configure the system manually andadjust force, sensitivity, locking tendency, force balance, etcetera. Via the remote control orthe IronConnect Pro app, the operator can easily adjust the glove's behavior if necessary.
To ensure an ergonomic solution for both men and women, as well as different body types and working positions, the Powerpack can be worn on the back or on the hip. In addition to different sizes of gloves, different sizes of armstraps and carrying solutions are also available. Easy donning and doffing has been considered when designing the system and we have made sure that the Ironhand system is easy to put on and take off.
We have integrated the most commonly used hand related risk assessment methods, HAL-TLV and DUET, making it easy for ergonomists to automatically assess workstations and work tasks, creating ergonomic risk reports showing risk levels and how Ironhand can reduce the risk for strain injuries.
Please look at the video to learn more about our ergonomic risk assessments.
Through the IronConnect Pro app, you can get an overview of all Ironhand equipment at a site, assign gloves to operators, access diagnostics, and create ergonomic risk reports.
Ironhand has the option to always be connected, via 4G through the built-in sim card, or Wifi. This means that high-resolution data can be sent to ensure that the system functions as intended and that data for risk reports is continuously collected. Should connection not be available, data is stored locally in the device for later upload.
Industry workers perform a lot of manual work tasks daily. Ironhand is beneficial for a wide range of those tasks, like grip intensive, highly repetitive and/or static work. The system has been tested within various industries. To help you identify suitable applications within your industry, we have collected a few examples below.
Even though the foundry industry has improved technology to eliminate manual casting processing, it is difficult to eliminate handling iron castings as part of the daily job.
There are still a lot of manual operations within the foundry industry, eg casting grinding and press functions where workers are performing repetitive tasks and lifting castings.
Manual assembly work, for example pressing in, clipping or compressing. There are also a lot of manual work involving tools and and power tools that must be held static for a longer period of time, for example; grinders, drilling machines, sanding macines, welding machines, hammers, pop rivet guns etc.
Pre-assembly also involve tasks where a hoist is used as lift support. However, the operator is exposed to repetitive and grip intensive work as it requires manual manoeuvring of the hoist. In such a task, Ironhand supports the operator with gripping and holding on to the hoist.
An example of a work task is preparing parts for assembly, lifting and carrying off finished parts to a cart. Or unloading parts from cardboard boxes and placing them on carts. In these type of tasks, Ironhand supports the operator with a steady grip and stamina while handling the objects.
Lifting, holding and carrying loads requires a secure grip and may lead to fatigue over time. Ironhand anebles the worker to use less force end reduce the fatigue.
The construction industry is labour intensive due to the high amount of manual work tasks involved. The operators often have a few different tasks throughout a workday, however most of them are grip intensive and repetitive or static work tasks.
Ironhand® is designed to mimic the human body. The technology follows the user's actions in an intuitive way and augments the gripping force only if the operator initiates a grasp.
Ironhand’s main ergonomic property is the ability to add force to the flexion of the fingers, helping to relieve muscles that are responsible for flexing and gripping. By reducing the amount of force and strain put on these tendons, the use of Ironhand decreases the risk of cumulative injury.
The Ironhand glove is equipped with artificial tendons and pressure sensitive sensors located on the palm and in the fingers’ middle phalanges and tips. The sensors detect when the user grabs an object which triggers the servo motors installed in the power pack. A microcomputer then calculates the amount of power to be added and small motors pull the artificial tendons. As a result, the finger joints flex and a grip are performed with less force needed by the operator. The harder the user grips, the more force is applied by Ironhand. The Smart Assist function uses machine learning and adapts the behavior of the glove based on how the operator is using it, making it intuitive.
The Ironhand glove can be adjusted according to the user’s preferences as well as the work situation at hand. Different combinations of force, sensitivity, locking tendency and finger balance can be saved as tailored profiles. The operator can preset multiple profiles and easily adjust the output and switch between these with a remote control located on the chest, or by using the IronConnect Pro app.
The glove is easy to don and doff and comes in three different sizes, with easily maneuverable straps for putting on and taking off. The power pack can be strapped to the back or hip based on the operator’s preferences. When making Ironhand we reduced the amount of textile in the fingertips to make it easier to perform complex tasks that require dexterity. The result is an intuitive and highly adjustable ergonomic glove with a Smart Assist function that adapts to the user’s motions and needs.
Ironhand glove sizes
|S, M, L, XL (right and left)|
|Back pack sizes||S/M, L/XL|
|Hip-carry sizes||S, M, L|
|Total weight of the Ironhand system||2,75 kg, approximately 6 pounds|
|Weight worn on the hand||50 g, approximately 2 oz|
|Measures Ironhand Power Pack||32 x 12 x 7,5 cm|
|Battery type||lithium ®|
|Battery time||approximately 6-8 hours|
|Maximum additional force||16 N per finger|