Wearable skeleton suit reduces milking parlour fatigue

Parlour workers struggling with the physical strain of the daily grind could benefit from the novel Mate-XT exoskeleton from Shropshire-based Dairy Spares.

Slung over the wearer’s body like a backpack and fastened around the hips, the lightweight exoskeleton is designed to bear the modest but wearisome weight of clusters and teat scrubbers as they are lifted and held for hours on end.

See also: How to train heifers in robotic milking systems

It reduces the effort required by the operator and resulting fatigue, and, according to the maker, can also benefit body posture, which may help avert future back problems.

The central feature is a carbon fibre spine that spreads any load on the shoulders equally across the hips.

As the wearer raises their arms, the degree of support increases, reducing muscular effort by a claimed 30% at shoulder level.

© Dairy Spares

The weight of the outfit (2.9kg) is kept down by using carefully positioned springs, rather than motors and batteries, to support the operator’s movements.

The device has apparently proved popular with farmers in their 50s and 60s in France, where the Mate-XT was launched 18 months ago.

So, fancy delaying retirement and eking a few more years’ work from those old bones? You’ll just have to find £4,495 down the back of the sofa…

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