isoloc Schwingungstechnik GmbH develops machine installation and vibration insulation products and offers a range of related services. In cooperation with Fraunhofer IPA, a sensor mat for standing workplaces was developed for the product area of medical-ergonomic workplace mats. It records the position of a worker’s feet and detects shifts in weight. This could help to prevent postural deformities.
Up till now, sensor mats have mainly been used in factory buildings where humans and robots work closely together. They are installed in areas where robots operate and are intended to promote safety at work. As soon as their sensors register a worker, they switch off the robot and thus prevent serious work accidents.
With the aim of improving workplace ergonomics and preventing postural deformities that result in work absences, Fraunhofer scientists in the Functional Materials Department have developed a standing workplace mat whose capacitive sensor technology detects the position of a worker’s feet in realtime and identifies shifts in weight.
48 sensors per foot are integrated chessboard-style into the standing workplace mat, taking measurements contactlessly through the sole of the shoe. If an employee wears safety shoes with rigid soles, this does not affect the measurement result. Only signals from the sole of the foot are recorded.
The mat is connected to the worker's computer via a bus system and a USB port. Each of the 48 fields of the chessboard stands for a specific sensor; the software shows workers in realtime how much strain is currently being placed on which parts of their feet. Red stands for high, yellow for medium and green for low pressure. This allows workers to check for themselves whether they are adopting a healthy posture and to correct it immediately if appropriate.
isoloc Schwingungstechnik GmbH | Motorstrasse 64 | 70499 Stuttgart