First operation held using exoskeleton developed with participation of Sberbank’s Robotics Lab
11 March 2019, Moscow – ExoChair, an industrial exoskeleton developed by Sberbank’s Robotics Lab, has helped surgeons to carry out more than 12 hours of operations. The exoskeleton was used for the first time in Russia and Europe during surgical operations at Rostov-on-Don Regional Hospital No. 2.
During the test, ExoChair helped both the lead and assisting surgeons during operations of varying complexity, including endoscopic and laparoscopic operations.
ExoChair is a passive industrial exoskeleton that unloads back and leg muscles while its wearer works in an upright position. It was developed by Useful Robots LLC with support from Sberbank’s Robotics Lab.
The industrial exoskeleton received positive feedback from the surgeons; they noted its significant impact during the lengthy operations (more than two hours). A plan to update ExoChair is currently being worked out in accordance with the medics’ comments that are mostly related to making it more comfortable to use.
Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank Stanislav Kuznetsov:
“This is the first experience of using exoskeletons in Russia and Europe to support surgeons, and we consider it to be successful. When choosing a development area of our labs, first we estimate the possibility of using its results at the bank. This is how we looked at the exoskeleton too, but this new stage of its development, as well as new area of its use, is extremely promising and socially important. The closest competitor of ExoChair is situated in Japan, but it can be only be rented, and for a price that exceeds the cost of our development by several times.”
Initially, the Robotics Lab planned to use an exoskeleton to reduce fatigue and increase labour productivity of employees who work in an upright position for long periods of time. While testing the exoskeleton, the idea occurred to use it in other non-production activity areas where the unloading of the back and legs is needed, in particular, in health care.