Over 40 million employees across Europe currently suffer from muscle, joint or nerve pains caused by physically demanding tasks at work. What’s more, almost half of the longer-term absences in organizations result from musculoskeletal discomforts. Innovative robots, cobots and exoskeletons could offer a solution to help employees cope with heavy and repetitive work tasks.
The European research and innovation program Horizon 2020 is therefore investing EUR 6.5 million in SOPHIA, an international research consortium set up to design, integrate and evaluate a new generation of ergonomic cobots and exoskeletons. SOPHIA’s goal is to create safe, hybrid workplaces for humans and robots, ultimately reducing absenteeism and increasing the productivity of organizations.