Since 2016, the French National Research and Safety Institute has been carrying out studies on the interests and limitations of occupational exoskeletons for the purpose of MSD prevention. Specifically, recent work compared the effectiveness of soft versus rigid back-support exoskeletons during a lifting task. The main results point to the need for particular attention to the design of the exoskeleton (rigid versus soft) and to the range of trunk motion, when selecting this kind of technology. In practice, the choice of a passive back-support exoskeleton, between rigid and soft design, requires an evaluation of the human-exoskeleton interaction in real task conditions.
The authors of this study recently published an article on this issue, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.