There are over a thousand exoskeleton units currently in use at job sites around the world, and their number is expected to increase at a significantly faster rate. In some cases, they are even becoming mandatory safety equipment. As exo technology enters the workplace it is inevitably encountering insurance companies and organizations that are responsible for workers' compensation.
Exoskeletons and exosuits are physical human augmentation wearable devices. These devices provide noticeable assistive force and usually augment a worker’s hand, lower back or shoulders. How would you distinguish a wearable device from an exoskeleton? A wearable can be a glove with a receiver that can detect if a worker is reaching in the correct bin for a part. A power glove (a subset of exo technology) would provide physical assistance to the worker’s hand to help them grasp the part in that bin. Exo technology can be utilized to create power gloves, hip support exos, shoulder support harnesses, chairless-chairs, and even full-body exoskeletons.
From the point of view of insurance companies, exo technology can have one of three effects.