Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Lighter, more breathable construction exoskeleton launched

3 December 2020

An exoskeleton designed to make it easier and safer for workers to perform heavy lifting and overhead work has been made lighter and more breathable with the launch of a new version.

Italian manufacturer Comau has launched the new Mate-XT version of its innovation, with a slimmer, carbon fibre construction, improved regulation settings and a breathable design.

The firm claims that the upgrade on its Mate exoskeleton can be used indoors and outdoors and is resistant to water, dust, UV-light, and temperature.

The device replicates the user’s physiological shoulder movements to provide upper body support without batteries or motors and offers eight different levels of assistance.

Comau also claimed that it was the only commercially-available exoskeleton with EAWS (Ergonomic Assessment Work-Sheet) certification. Based on studies conducted at customers’ sites using the EAWS worksheet, Comau claimed the Mate-XT can help workers increase accuracy during overhead tasks by 27% and execution speed by 10%. It can also reduce cycle times by at least 5%.

Pietro Ottavis, chief technology officer of Comau said: “We believe the global market for exoskeletons shows a 5-year CAGR of up to 40%, where the industrial sector will represent close to half of this. We have reduced the weight and bulk of MATE-XT while increasing its performance to better meet the needs of the extended exoskeleton. Furthermore, we are proud to have developed this new exoskeleton in close collaboration with our partners, IUVO and Össur, and the many workers who use it to execute their tasks with less fatigue.”


What is the weight of your exoskeleton?.How many kilograms a worker puts on his body?.Is it REALLY comfortable to use this exoskeleton?.Must he take it off to go to a toilet, for example?.Can he sit for a while on a chair or just on the ground?.Can he climb a ladder?.If not, so your invention is worth zero, sorry.Because it disenables NORMAL working at a construction site, for example. Or helping people in case of fire.

Małgorzata Bogusław, 4 December 2020

Hi Małgorzata, why such a negative comment?

Innovative ideas are rarely perfect in their first iterations, but you have to start somewhere and improve from there.

This seems like a step in the right direction of helping reduce long term injury to operatives in a manual labour environment.

There are many inventions that aren’t perfect to begin with but are improved upon to help the world.

Matt, 4 December 2020