Skelex: Enhancing human potential through high-tech exoskeletons

Published on Tuesday, 2 March 2021

welder worker | startup.enel.com

That simplicity and overall adaptability of their exoskeletons to the user's body shape is what makes their solution unique. "Industrial workers need to perform flexible movements of the entire body. That's why our exoskeletons adjust to this, allowing them to move their arms and the torso freely," Genani says. The Skelex exoskeletons are powered by FlexFrame Technology that supports biological movement of the shoulder joint and transfers weight to the lower body. This makes it possible for the structure to store and release energy in an intelligent manner to compensate for gravity and to ensure comfort as well as the long-term wellbeing of users. Currently, they offer two models, Skelex 360 and Skelex 360-XFR, a new version built for supreme durability.

But what do users think when they are using this technology? "People are quite surprised because it's a new feeling you have not felt before, but once they feel comfortable, they start looking to all the possibilities," Genani says. So, let's take a look at those possibilities.

A variety of down-to-earth applications

The technology is mainly used in automotive industries and in large-scale, high-tech production, but the entrepreneur predicts that in the next decade the focus will shift to the construction sector and other general jobs. "Electricians, plumbers and mechanics will be using this kind of product," he asserts. For example, in the construction industry, bricklayers work very hard during their shifts to build walls and create layers with different materials. For Genani, their exoskeleton can certainly be a solution.

For the Energy sector, Skelex and Enel developed a pilot to test their technology with operators who work on maintaining the electricity grid. "There are several risks regarding safety, such as heights and difficult positions that workers must manoeuvre through while carrying heavy tools and materials," Genani explains.

 

worker on a ladder | startup.enel.com

For the entrepreneur, "the feet on the ground support of Enel's team, all the feedback and all the data that we collected (more than 300 hours of data) really helped us to conduct the pilot and create solid evidence for our technology. It was one of the best pilots we have done so far, thanks to the dedication of everyone who was involved."

The professional relationship between Enel and Skelex began in 2019, when the solution was identified by Enel’s European Innovation Hub and has been the relationship has been instrumental for the startup. "We were contacted and informed about a challenge that wanted to improve the working conditions of people," Genani says. He highlights that they really valued that "the challenge was specific, it was very clear the gap Enel wanted to fill." After this, they started to work with Luca di Stefano. "So far the technology has performed great. Now, we are using this as a basis to create a deployment for Enel’s long-term use," Genani adds.

Genani argues that "innovation is to fill a gap in society where people do not realize there is one." Skelex continues to be inspired and keeps looking toward the future. They continue to push the boundaries and think about how to address shared challenges and improve their exoskeletons to make them more value-driven, versatile and adaptable in the same way people and society have done since the pandemic began. With the help of this technology and human inspiration and collaboration, we can create jobs that not only amplify human potential, but also increase the safety of our employees around the world.

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