Currys invests in robotic suits to support Black Friday and holiday season rush
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 festive period.
The suits, which are being used at Currys’ facility in Newark, will help people carry out their physical day to day tasks, with the aim of putting less pressure on their joints and muscles while lifting heavy loads.
The Newark site will help deliver 8.7 million units of stock to all 309 of its stores this Black Friday period.
The robotic suits are worn like a small backpack made with ultra-light carbon fibre, the waterproof exoskeleton is said to provide at least 10 tonnes of relief over the course of a typical working shift, as well as up to 30kg of assistance to the lower back per lift.
The exoskeleton incorporates the AI-based Smart Safety Companion ergonomics early warning system to alert of signs of poor posture and incorrect lifting practices in real-time.
Lindsay Haselhurst, Currys Chief Operating Officer, comments: “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.”
Gavin Williams, GXO Managing Director for the UK and Ireland, says: “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 suits are made and developed by German Bionic and named the Cray X.
“We are delighted that Currys, the UK’s leading retailer of electronics and home appliances, have partnered with us to empower their warehouse workers with our Cray X exoskeletons that will help them to lift and carry goods more safely and with the support they need to safeguard their health”, says Armin Schmidt, CEO at German Bionic.