Currys, the UK’s leading tech retailer, has today revealed it has invested over £250,000 in a fleet of robotic exoskeleton suits to help colleagues from logistics partner, GXO, work safely and efficiently through the busy festive period.

The suits, which are being used at Currys’ state-of-the-art facility in Newark, will help colleagues carry out their physical day-to-day tasks, putting less pressure on their joints and muscles while lifting heavy loads and helping prevent injuries in a manual handling environment.

The Currys Newark distribution site will help deliver 8.7 million units of stock to all 309 of its stores this Black Friday period.

The robotic suits are worn like a small backpack and give colleagues at least 10 tonnes of relief over the course of a typical working shift — with up to 30kg of assistance to the lower back per lift. Made with ultralight carbon fibre, the waterproof exoskeleton incorporates the unique AI-based Smart Safety Companion ergonomics early warning system to alert of signs of poor posture and incorrect lifting practices in real time to actively assist in effectively preventing fatigue and resulting errors and potential injuries.

Lindsay Haselhurst, Currys Chief Operating Officer, commented on the innovative initiative: “The physical and mental wellbeing of our colleagues and our service partners is really important to us. As the number one technology retailer in the UK, we aim to have state-of-the-art tech throughout our supply chain. Combining this with our priority to support our colleagues is why we have invested in these exoskeletons at our Newark distribution centre.”

Gavin Williams, GXO Managing Director for the UK and Ireland, said, “We’ve successfully deployed robotic suits in several warehouses across GXO’s global network and are excited to make this technology available to our team in the Newark site thanks to Currys’ significant investment. This is a testament to our joint commitment to provide a safe and fulfilling working environment for our employees, whilst unlocking efficiencies and delivering substantial savings for our customer.”

Currys has invested a quarter of a million pounds in the suits at Newark which are made and developed by German Bionic – and named the ‘Cray X’.

“We are delighted that Currys, the UK’s leading retailer of electronics and home appliances, have partnered with German Bionic to empower their warehouse workers with our Cray X exoskeletons that will help them to lift and carry goods more safely and with the support they need to safeguard their health”, says Armin Schmidt, CEO of German Bionic.