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Delivery drivers have to deliver up to 200 parcels a day and work overtime on many days. The physical strain leads to a third more sick days than the average in Germany. The main problem is the frequent bending, heavy lifting, poor sitting posture when driving and one-sided carrying. All of this puts strain on the muscles and spine and often leads to severe back pain.

exoPar, a soft exoskeleton, is a support system tailored specifically to the needs of delivery drivers. It provides support where and when it is needed, while ensuring freedom of movement.



• 1.1 Research


Even if there are plenty of products for back pain, it is the most prescribed reason for physiotherapy. 

After researching where the main causes of back pain are and which groups suffer the most from it, we decided on the group with the most diverse requirements and the fewest products for them.

Delivery drivers are an often overlooked group. They have to deliver up to 200 parcels a day and work overtime on many days. The physical strain leads to a third more sick days than the average in Germany. The main problem is the frequent bending, heavy lifting, poor sitting posture when driving and one-sided carrying. All of this puts strain on the muscles and spine and often leads to severe back pain. To address this wide variety of causes, a solution tailored to their specific needs is necessary.

• 1.2 User Journey Map

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They get ready at central

Scan sort each package to truck

Drive to delivery area/ customers

Unload scan

Sometimes long distance to walk, ring bell, wait

walk stairs, Time pressure

Deliver to customer

Take back packages

...many times a day!

• 1.3 Main Problems

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frequent bending 

bad sitting posture driving 

one sided carrying 

-> strain on muscle / spine


• 2.1 First Concept

After more research on back pain in delivery drivers, we decided on a soft exoskeleton. Further research showed that it was possible to develop a simple, lightweight product that could meet the diverse needs.

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Most of the existing exoskeletons are specifically designed for heavy lifting or repetitive monotonous movements. However, the user scenario for package delivery is more complex. Instead of just heavy and repetitive lifting, they also need to drive to the destination and perform other tasks while carrying packages. Consequently, existing exoskeletons cannot properly meet their requirements. Due to the mechanism of most existing exoskeletons, which is usually located on the back, they would even feel uncomfortable while driving. In addition, the existing exoskeletons are often heavy, restrict the user's natural movement and are usually expensive due to their complex structure and mechanism, making delivery companies less willing to purchase them for their employees.Therefore, we wanted to design a soft exoskeleton that is lightweight, cost-effective, and focused on the needs of parcel delivery drivers.

• 2.2 User Journey Map with Our Concept

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Next, we put our concept together to figure out what components were needed. One of the first steps was to build a simple functional prototype to prove the concept. The next prototype was made with a simple sewing pattern based on a torso tape rendering. In the next steps, we simplified all the parts, meaning fewer pieces and better, simpler connections. The patterns and parts also evolved to be more ergonomic and better adapted to the shape of the body. We replaced two elastics + leg fixture with one continuous elastic which wraps around the legs. It was important that the system is modular so that it could be adapted to different body sizes and shapes. Thats why we changed the back support to be the hub where all the parts are connected. It was important that it be comfortable throughout the day. That's why fluid and organic shapes that adapt to the shape of the body were used.

• 3.1 First Quick Prototype


• 3.2 Functional Prototype

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• 3.3 Tape Rendering


• 3.4 Simple Sewing Pattern Prototype


• 3.5 Final Sewing Pattern / First Plastic Parts Prototype


• 3.6 Prototype / Rendering of Plastic Parts

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• 3.7 Process of Prototyping




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a_ The activation and release mechanism works with a ratchet-like system, the shape of the case comes from the ratchet mechanism inside, and the shape of the handle is designed for hands to grip, and also refers to the back support. It is located on the shoulder, and connected to the elastic band. The straps are ergonomically formed and padded for extra comfort.

b_ The waist belt is attached with a magnetic buckle, which is based on the Fidlock system, so it‘s easy to open and close with one simple movement.

c_ The back support is the hub where all the parts are connected. Everything is attached with Velcro under the orange cover, as well as padding for added comfort.

d_ The elastic bands are one piece that wraps around the legs.

• 4.1 Features


Main features of exoPar:

_Elastic Force

The tension of the elastic bands support and relieve the lower back muscles and spine. When the user bends down, the elastic bands are stretched. When standing up, the stored energy is released again and helps to straighten up.

_Activation and Release Mechanism

During the day, delivery drivers have to face various situations, such as sitting in the car and driving. To release the tension of the elastics you only have to push a button. To activate the elastics after driving you have to pull the handle.

_Back Support

To prevent a hunched back while driving and sitting, the curvature of the lumbar support promotes an upright sitting position and provides comfort.

_Package Holder

One sided carrying puts five times more strain on your spine. The package holder allows you to shift the weight of the package on your hips and distribute it evenly.

• 4.2 How to Wear it

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Because of time constraints, exoPar needs to be really easy to use and quick to put on. Opening and closing all parts is done with natural, intuitive movements.

First you put it on as if you were wearing a backpack.

Then you close the waist belt. This is an easy-to-use magnetic buckle.

Third, you wrap the elastic straps around your legs. They are adjustable and fasten with Velcro.

• 4.3 Materials


Codura / 3D Mesh / Zipper / Evazote / 

Dyneema / Webbing / Elastic / Velcro

• 4.4 Branding

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Our vision is to collaborate with various delivery companies and manufacture the product with customizable color schemes that align with their company identities.




Art des Projekts

Studienarbeit im ersten Studienabschnitt


foto: Prof. Nils Krüger foto: Prof. Nils Krüger

Zugehöriger Workspace

hands on - care


Sommersemester 2023