Preliminary Assessment of Exoskeleton Suit Assistance for Fresh Fruit Bunch (FFB) Collecting Task in Oil Palm Plantation
Exoskeletons have been widely used in rehabilitation and heavy work. The concept of exoskeleton technology showed encouraging results in helping to reduce workload and limb movements. In fact, exoskeleton worn on the upper or lower limbs is seen to increase workers productivity when used in agricultures. A preliminary capability evaluation on the current active exoskeleton suit (CAE) was explored and observed through implementation of Fresh Fruits Bunch (FFB) collections. Significant lower part body motions were assisted by the CAE suit when worker lifted the FFB especially motions of the lower extremity which posed a threat of hyperextension including the knee, hip, and back. Another concern that needed attention that is the assisted lower back body could not stand on its own while having to bear the stress from upper limbs. Joint motions that posed risk of hyperflexion such as shoulders and elbows need to be protected as well from injury while carrying the FFB loads. Results showed that the CAE used did not significantly support full muscle activities when workers performed lifting of FFB. In addition, the lower back body assisted by CAE suit could not stand on its own while continuing to bear the stress from the upper limbs, which may be harmed without any assistance and support. Hence, joint motions that posed risk of hyperflexion such as shoulders and elbows need to be protected as well by the exoskeleton suits while carrying the FFB loads.
Copyright (c) 2022 Mohd Khairul Fadzly Md Radzi, Mohd Azwan Mohd Bakri, Mohd Ramdhan Mohd Khalid, Mohd Ikmal Hafizi Azaman, Mohd Rizal Ahmad
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