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In comic strips and action movies, robot exoskeletons give inventors superpowers. In factories and other work environments, robot exoskeletons support workers, to improve occupational safety.

The need for improved occupational safety is large. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in private industry during 2013. The impact on productivity is large, with a median eight days off from work due to injury or illness. The number of fatal work injuries was much smaller, at about 4,500, but the personal impact is, of course, immense.

Sit Down On the Job

For assembly line and other industrial workers, repetitive stress is a common medical issue. The Chairless Chair supports workers in a half-sitting position, customized to their specific body shape. Wearers don't have to drag a chair with them as they move about; the Chairless Chair moves with them.

Lend A Hand

The Ekso Works, like the Chairless Chair, transfers the user's weight to the ground. It goes a step further in having a sprung arm that can handle a heavy tool, making it practically weightless to the person wearing the exoskeleton. Another exoskeleton, the Fortis, lets wearers lift heavy objects effortlessly in a standing or kneeling position. Wearers will be able to work more easily in areas where bench-mounted tools can't be used.

Put a Spring in Your Step

A device that fits around the wearer's calf, the Walking Assist Clutch, literally puts a spring in the wearer's step. The device is triggered at a specific moment during a stride and increases the efficiency of walking by seven percent. This would benefit workers who are on their feet all day long, like nurses or a police officer walking a beat.

Benefits Beyond the Workplace

Businesses are looking at these devices to provide more ergonomic work environments, and increase employee productivity as well as minimizing health expenses due to employee injuries. For employees, benefits include the reduced risk of injury, and no lost wages from unpaid time off. Outside the workplace, exoskeletons will enable paralyzed individuals and frail elderly to maintain independence. In those cases, the exoskeleton is indeed delivering a superpower.

02 Fine Tune Your Resume Top Skills of a Computer Software Engineer

Being a computer software engineer is an exciting, challenging, and lucrative career choice. Software engineers are responsible for developing, creating, and modifying computer programs and applications — designing custom software, improving existing programs and applications, and ensuring optimal efficiency for software operation.

As with any career, landing a great job as a computer software engineer requires more than technical skills. The hard skills and specific program knowledge you have are essential, but there are a number of general technology skills and “soft skills” you’ll need to impress employers and get hired.

Here are the top skills outside of programming you can use to enhance your computer software engineer resume for better employment opportunities.

General technical skills for software engineers

Troubleshooting: Identifying the causes of various operating errors, and determining how to fix those errors

Technology design: Determining, generating, or adapting the appropriate equipment and technology to serve the needs of users

Equipment selection: Understanding the selection process for the right equipment and tools needed to do a particular job

Installation: The ability to install machines, equipment, wiring, or software to user or customer specifications

Operations analysis: Analyzing the needs and product requirements for the creation of application or program design

Systems analysis: Understanding how a particular system should work, and how alterations or changes in operations, conditions, and / or the operating environment will affect system outcomes

Quality control analysis: The ability to evaluate the quality or performance of software products, services, or products through tests and inspections

Systems evaluation: Being able to identify the best indicators or measures of system performance, and decide on any actions required to correct or improve performance with relation to the system’s goals

Soft skills for software engineers

Critical thinking: The ability to use logic and reason in approaches to a problem, including identification of strengths and weaknesses, alternate solutions, and conclusions

Complex problem solving: Developing and evaluating options for identifying and solving complex problems by drawing on both existing knowledge and additional research of related information

Decision making: The ability to weigh the pros and cons of various solutions, including potential benefits and relevant costs, and choose the most appropriate action in a given situation

Communication: The ability to convey information effectively to others, including explaining complex technical issues to non-tech people, as well as active listening skills that foster clarity in communication

Active learning: Understanding the importance of continued education and the acquisition of new skills in technology fields, and continual efforts to remain up-to-date with the latest available information

Time management: Knowing how to manage your own time and the time of others to ensure that projects continue smoothly and reach completion upon deadline

Self-assessment / monitoring: The desire and ability to monitor and assess the performance of yourself and your team members, in order to take corrective action when required or make improvements when possible.