The Working Posture Controller: Automated adaptation of the workpiece pose to enable a neutral working posture
Although modern automation technology has succeeded in replacing much of the workforce in factories, there are scenarios where full automation cannot be realised. Experienced human workers are able to adapt to new tasks in a short time and possess cognitive and sensorimotor skills that cannot easily be imitated by machines. However, maintaining the health of the workforce is a challenge. One fundamental risk factor for these disorders is work that requires awkward postures. Extensive research has been conducted into preventing this issue. The solutions proposed thus far have achieved a significant improvement of the situation. However, implementing the most effectual solutions is labour-intensive and impairs the flexibility of the production line. This thesis strives to bridge this trade-off. Herein, the Working Posture Controller (WPC) was proposed. The WPC is an assistance system, which automatically monitors the worker's posture when performing a task at hand. In the case of an ergonomically unfavourable situation, the device proposes a re-adjustment of the workplace layout, enabling the worker to perform the same task while maintaining an ergonomically superior posture.
Zugl.: Berlin, TU, Diss., 2017