Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon teams up with robotics firm

Willmott Dixon is trialling a high-tech robotic vest which supports the arms during heavy lifting.

The ‘Eksovest’ (pictured above) is an upper-body exoskeleton vest which was created by the construction company in partnership with robotics firm Eksobionics.

It is being used to protect supply chain partners working on the £31m Cardiff West Community High School project.

Willmott Dixon funded the production through Eureka, its central research and development fund.

The vest – which costs approximately £5,650 – will be introduced as standard depending on how it performs during the trial period at other sites across the country.

The Cardiff site – which will provide a school for 1,200 secondary school students and more than 300 sixth-form pupils – was chosen due to the range of technical activities required to complete the build.

Neal Stephens, managing director for Willmott Dixon Wales and South West, said: “Innovation is in our DNA and this could revolutionise the ability of our people on site to lift heavier objects.

“The wellbeing of our people and supply chain is always our number one priority and the more we can use technology to support this, the better.

“The Eksovest technology should lead to teams on site feeling less exerted, meaning improved wellbeing and productivity.

“This investment also demonstrates the development of our new Eureka fund in supporting technology and innovation that will drive change in our construction industry into the 21st century.”

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