Technology retailer Currys has invested over £250,000 in a fleet of robotic exoskeleton suits to help colleagues from logistics partner, GXO, work safely and efficiently through the busy festive period.
The suits, made by German Bionic and named the ‘Cray X’, are being used at Currys’ state-of-the-art facility in Newark. They will help colleagues carry out their physical day-to-day tasks, putting less pressure on their joints and muscles while lifting heavy loads and helping prevent injuries in a manual handling environment.
Lindsay Haselhurst, Currys chief operating officer, said: “The physical and mental wellbeing of our colleagues and our service partners is really important to us. As the number one technology retailer in the UK, we aim to have state-of-the-art tech throughout our supply chain. Combining this with our priority to support our colleagues is why we have invested in these exoskeletons at our Newark distribution centre.”
The robotic suits are worn like a small backpack and give colleagues at least 10 tonnes of relief over the course of a typical working shift.
Made with ultralight carbon fibre, the waterproof exoskeleton incorporates the unique AI-based Smart Safety Companion ergonomics early warning system. This alerts of signs of poor posture and incorrect lifting practices in real time to actively assist in effectively preventing fatigue and resulting errors and potential injuries.
Gavin Williams, GXO managing director for the UK and Ireland, added: “We’ve successfully deployed robotic suits in several warehouses across GXO’s global network and are excited to make this technology available to our team in the Newark site thanks to Currys’ significant investment. This is a testament to our joint commitment to provide a safe and fulfilling working environment for our employees, whilst unlocking efficiencies and delivering substantial savings for our customer.”
The Currys Newark distribution site will help deliver 8.7 million units of stock to all 309 of its stores this festive period.