Dairy Spares has launched its latest product: an ‘exo-skeleton’ which supports the upper body when milking cows, reducing muscle fatigue and tiredness.
The MATE-XT provides support to the wearer’s upper body when lifting or moving low-weight items repeatedly as well as improving posture and helping to avoid back problems, making it a suitable option for those working in milking parlours.
Operating via springs, the contraption is worn on the back like a rucksack with a belt around the hips. The lightweight (2.9kg) and ergonomic design makes it comfortable for the user as it follows the movement of the body and arms.
Developed by Italian company, Comau, exo-skeletons are routine pieces of equipment in the car manufacturing industry, but the MATE-XT is the first to be made available to UK farmers. Key design elements of the model include its carbon-fibre spine which allows weight to be spread evenly across the hips; its ability to support at a relatively low angle and its ability to reduce muscular effort by 30% at shoulder level.
Available in two sizes, the MATE-XT was initially introduced to farm workers in France around 18 months ago, and users reported fewer musculoskeletal problems and reductions in physical fatigue.