What are New Physcial Assistive Technologies ?

New Physical Assistance Technologies (NPAT) are a device or robot that aims to relieve and compensate for the efforts made by its user in his tasks. Another point of these devices aims to reduce the risk of occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders by reducing the physical load.
NPATs are divided into 2 categories: Physical Assist Devices (PAD) which are mechanical and physical assist robots (PAR) which are automated, provided with electronics, hydraulic or pneumatic systems.
In the PAD family we come across passive exoskeletons, zero gravity assist arms, ergoskeletons or a mechanical industrial cart.
In the PAR family we find active exoskeletons, industrial robots or cobots (collaborative robots). What makes the difference between these 2 types of robots is their integration into the work environment  : industrial robots are located in defined areas, limited by safety barriers or other indications while cobots are integrated into the same workspaces as workers.
Back to exoskeletons.
The main advantage of exoskeleton is the mobility of the user. Thanks to the rapid development of technologies and the attention paid by manufacturers to their adaptation to work situations, exoskeletons are more and more easily integrated into various activities, particularly in the context of prolonged postural support, repetitive movements or carrying loads
Technologies evolve rapidly and we observe the appearance of two types of exoskeletons:
"Active" exoskeletons: equipped with electronic components for controlling, retrieving and processing information, requiring batteries and therefore limited autonomy. These exoskeletons easily adapt to different types of activities, even the most complicated. However, they are heavier, more expensive and less reliable than passive exoskeletons.
"Passive" exoskeletons only work on mechanical concepts, so their autonomy is not limited. These technologies are less expensive and allow a perfect response to a specific work activity. We equip ourselves easily and quickly. The major drawback of these exoskeletons is their technical specificity  : a passive exoskeleton relieves a specific movement or position but can disrupt other movements, it must be ensured that it will be perfectly adapted to the chosen activity.
There are not many robotic (or active) exoskeletons, we can see their appearance in the medical sector while mechanical exoskeletons are intended for industrial sectors for prevention.