Inside a Lowe’s store in Christiansburg, Va., an employee easily plucks a 40-pound air conditioner from the shelf, assisted by a robotic-looking suit that helps with heavy lifting.
The contraption, which resembles a harness the Terminator might wear, is built with carbon fiber rods that act as extra artificial tendons, giving store workers bodybuilder strength and, the company hopes, increased productivity.
The so-called exoskeleton was created by Lowe’s Innovation Labs in partnership with Virginia Tech university. The labs’ mandate is simple but crucial: work with outside organizations like Google and Microsoft to develop technology that will improve store operations and customer experience...
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