Ottobock hunts fresh pastures with new business unit centred on exoskeletons

Ottobock has launched a new business unit to meet challenges faced in industries other than the mobility and healthcare sector.

Ottobock Industrials is designed to meet challenges presented in industries like manufacturing which are facing a lack of skilled specialists and an aging workforce in some areas.

The new unit will use the company’s 100 years’ experience in biomechanics and orthopaedics to create devices that can help people protect their health over the long term as they carry out their demanding everyday working routines.

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One of the first product areas for Ottobock Industrials are exoskeletons for overhead and above shoulder level work.

The orthotic assistance systems, which are worn on the body, support employees during demanding activities in production or trade such as overhead assembly.

Using exoskeletons reduces physical strain and protects the musculoskeletal system. Ottobock’s Paexo exoskeleton is currently being tested with 30 employees at Volkswagen and according to the car manufacturer, is the largest long-term pilot test of exoskeletons in Europe.

The new launch follows a reshuffle at board level which has seen the company’s leadership being taken over. Dr Sönke Rössing is in charge of Ottobock Industrial and is helping to steer the company into other areas.

He said: “In future, we want to make workstations in the industrial, logistics and craft sectors more ergonomic and thereby improve the often challenging working conditions found there.

“We believe that this is an up-and-coming sector that offers a great deal of potential for groundbreaking innovations.

“Together with our shareholders, we therefore decided to systematically transfer Ottobock’s nearly 100 years of expertise in biomechanics and orthopaedics to a new business area.”

Since the changes at board-level Ottobock announced that it was gearing up for an IPO after a century of being a family company.

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