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WearRAcon Europe 21

175-415 $
Wearable Robotics Association
673 Potomac Station Drive
Leesburg, VA 20176

WearRAcon Europe 2021 will give insight into European aspects of industrial exoskeleton technologies and their assessment methodologies. This will be linked closely with the physical live experiments of Exoworkathlon, held in conjunction with the conference.

Other therapeutic and preventive exoskeleton research topics will be discussed as well in synergy with the global WearRAcon conference family. The conference is a collaboration with the Wearable Robotics Association, Fraunhofer IPA, and University of Stuttgart.

All sessions are held in the GMT+2 time zone

(as of 27.07.21)

DAY 1 – Tuesday, October 5, 2021
09:00 – 09:20Dr. Urs Schneider, Fraunhofer IPA, Germany
Welcome Speech
09:20 – 10:20Keynote Speech – Prof. Dr. Michiel de Looze, TNO, The Netherlands
Reducing the barriers for implementation of exoskeletons in practice
10:20 – 10:40Live from Exoworkathlon I
10:40 – 11:00Live Spotlight Demo I
11:00 – 12:00Session Benchmarking & Assessment I
Dr. Ulrich Glitsch, Institut für Arbeitsschutz der DGUV, Germany
Challenges in the biomechanical assessment of industrial exoskeletons
Dr. Jawad Masood, CTAG, Spain
TestEd: Occupational Exoskeleton Testbed from concept to reality
Mathilde Schwartz, INRS, France
Cardiorespiratory effects of using a robotic back-support exoskeleton during a repetitive lifting task
12:00 – 13:00Lunch break
13:00 – 13:30Impulse Talk I – Prof. Dr. Klaus Bengler, Technische Universität München, Germany
Assistance Systems – A Challenge for Development and Evaluation
13:30 – 14:10Session Human Factors & Acceptance
Prof. Dr. Cordula Kropp, Universität Stuttgart, Germany
I E: reasons and methods for user involvement
Jérémy Lefint, KIT-ITAS / Fraunhofer IPA, Germany
WHO accepts WHAT? – The dilemma of subjectives factors and their integration into the product development process
14:10 – 14:40Poster Presentation Session I
14:40 – 15:00Live Spotlight Demo II
15:00 – 15:30Session Exoskeleton Systems II
15:30 – 16:15Session Benchmarking & Assessment I
Terry Buttler, Lean Steps Consulting, USA & Prof. Dr. Jason Gillette, Iowa State University, USA
Upper Body Exoskeleton Benchmark and Assessment Best Practices

DAY 2 – Wednesday, October 6, 2021
09:00 – 09:10Christophe Maufroy, Ph.D., Fraunhofer IPA, Germany
Morning Greetings
09:10 – 09:40Impulse Talk II – Jesùs Ortiz, Ph.D., IIT, Italy,
Developing exoskeletons for the industry of today and tomorrow
09:40 – 10:40Session Exoskeleton Research
Prof. Dr. Simona Crea, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy
Occupational exoskeletons: challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned
Prof. Dr. Carlos Rodriguez Guerrero, VUB, Belgium
The Exo4Work project. Methods, Results and lessons learned.
Mark Tröster, Fraunhofer IPA, Germany
ExoPflege – Development of an active exoskeleton to support the human trunk- and shoulder-arm-system
10:40 – 11:00Live from Exoworkathlon II
11:00 – 11:20Live Spotlight Demo III
11:20 – 12:00Session Exosuit Research
Dr. Maziar Sharbafi, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
Morphology and compliance roles in designing exosuits
Jan Kuschan & Henning Schmidt, Fraunhofer IPK, Germany
Realtime Action Recognition as a basis for Smart Exosuits
12:00 – 13:00Lunch break
13:00 – 13:20Live Spotlight Demo IV
13:20 – 14:00Session Exoskeleton Systems II
14:00 – 14:30Impulse Talk III – Israel Benavides, Ford Europe, Germany
Scientific studies on Exoskeletons at Ford
14:30 – 15:00Poster Presentation Session II
15:00 – 16:00Session Digital Biomechanics
Prof. Massimo Sartori, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Musculoskeletal Modelling for Bio-Protective Robots
Prof. Dr. Michael Skipper Andersen, Aalborg Uni, Denmark
Design and analysis of exoskeletons with musculoskeletal models
Prof. Dr. Lars Fritzsche, imk automotive GmbH, Deutschland
Assessing the efficiency of exoskeletons in physical strain reduction by biomechanical simulation with AnyBody Modeling System

DAY 3 – Thursday, October 7, 2021
09:00 – 09:10Christophe Maufroy, Ph.D., Fraunhofer IPA, Germany
Morning Greetings
9:10 – 9:40Impulse Talk IV – Dr. Ralph Hensel-Unger, Audi AG, Germany
Occupational Exoskeletons in the Gap Between Expectations and Reality
09:40 – 10:20End-User Forum I
Anke Richter, Weldplus, Germany & Christiane Pohlmann, SLV Nord, Germany
Support of ergonomics during welding by using augmented reality tools
10:20 – 11:00Poster Presentation Session III
11:00 – 12:00End-User Forum II
Dr. Petra Abele, Sozialversicherung für Landwirtschaft, Forsten und Gartenbau, Germany
12:00 – 12:50Exoworkahtlon Results
The Exoworkathlon Team, Fraunhofer IPA & Universität Stuttgart, Germany
12:50 – 13:00Dr. Urs Schneider, Fraunhofer IPA, Germany
Closing words


Industrial exoskeletons are fascinating new systems. They have the potential to protect against physical overload, reduce sick days, improve the quality of work and increase the satisfaction and quality of life of the workers.

The EXOWORKATHLON is intended to show the potential of industrial exoskeletons in simulated use cases and, above all, to encourage mutual exchange on this exciting topic. Different tasks with back-supporting and upper body exoskeletons are devised to collect, show and discuss data related to user feedback, ergonomics, metabolism/energy consumption and production quality.


For this first edition of the EXOWORKATHLON four tasks were defined.

In Task 1, manual box handling, a typical back-stressing work process from logistics, is considered. Task 2 includes various overhead assembly activities, which are particularly stressful for the upper extremities. In Task 3 is the focus on welding with the reproduction of real welding tasks in a constrained position, which can induce high stress in the upper extremities. Task 4 includes a representative group-work activity from timber construction, in which two people must assemble wooden beams and strips at overhead height.

These tasks are carried out twice by young workers (trainees and technical students) – once with and once without an exoskeleton. This enables an intra-individual anonymous evaluation of the effects of exoskeleton support, based on the different assessment and methods used for the different tasks.


The EXOWORKATHLON will take place twice this year, once in the context of WearRAcon Europe in Stuttgart on October 5 – 6 and once in a compact format at the A+A Trade Fair in Düsseldorf on October 26 – 29. Live reports of the event will be given during the first two days of WearRAcon Europe, while the results will be presented on the third conference day.


The Biomechatronic Systems department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart has an extensive expertise in the field of ergonomic analysis of heavy physical work as well as with the evaluation and development of exoskeletons. Together with the Institute for Industrial Manufacturing and Factory Operation IFF of the University of Stuttgart and the worldwide exoskeleton association “Wearable Robotics Association”, this interdisciplinary team is developing the application-oriented experiment EXOWORKATHLON with ergonomics and exoskeleton expertise.

Further information on the EXOWORKATHLON is available here.

Contact conference@wearablerobotics.com for more information.

Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/event/wearracon-europe-21