Exoskeletons for the aviation industry

The aviation industry is constantly challenged by economic challenges. When it comes to their employees, it is highly impacted by an aging workforce, a lack of skilled workers and increasing labour costs. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) are a major cause for lost workdays and one of the greatest burden for the global economy when measured by compensation costs, lost wages, and lost productivity. In the MRO sector, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are responsible for 40% of personal injury incidents, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Since over half of the jobs are in a high-risk category, especially maintenance workers are exposed to high injury rates, according to a study published in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics.

Our portfolio of exoskeletons offers various innovative devices to face this challenge in the airplane manufacturing industry and in airline MRO. Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons develops state-of-the-art wearable technology that helps people protect their health over the long term as they carry out their demanding everyday working routines. 

Ottobock Shoulder for overhead and above-shoulder work

The focus in this industry is on the Ottobock Shoulder, an exoskeleton for overhead work and work on or above-shoulder height. The innovative exoskeleton, which is worn on the body, supports employees globally on the final assembly line, but also during maintenance, repair and overhaul activities. In addition to the Ottobock Shoulder, the Paexo Neck can provide relief to the cervical spine during overhead work, e.g. installations or inspections. It can be worn in combination with the Paexo Shoulder. Using exoskeletons reduces physical strain and protects the musculoskeletal system. This is also confirmed in several studies and analyses.


Have a look at the different applications below and ask us about your specific use case!

Exoskeleton use cases in aviation: airline manufacturing & MRO

Our exoskeleton can support during airplane manufacturing on the final assembly line (FAL), but also in every stage of light and heavy maintenance and has been used during various A, B, C and D-Checks. Some example for use cases in the aviation industry within the different stages are:

  • Structural assembly of mechanical parts to fuselage and interior 
  • Riveting activities
    • on fuselage (body of airplane)
    • inside and outside wings
    • riveting wings (FAL)
  • Electronic installations overhead inside fuselage and cockpit (ceiling and walls) 
  • Sealing of full airplane (FAL)
  • Maintenance of airplane engines
  • Pretreating, sanding and paint coating of wings or full airplane
  • Cleaning of airplane body 
  • Fuel tank refill
Aviation exoskeletons
Exoskeleton aviation
Aviation exoskeletons
Exoskeleton overhead work

Use cases for exoskeletons in other industries

Exoskeletons for Automotive
Exoskeletons for Logistics
Ottobock Shoulder Information