Robotic exoskeletons promise increased mobility and job assistance – ProWellTech
In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in capabilities for robotic exoskeleton technology. Completely understandable. For one thing, it’s that rare technology you come across that really looks like it will change your life for the better the first time you see it. I’ve had a number of demonstrations with companies that frankly took my breath away – watching someone walk across the room for the first time in years while their spouse is standing next to you crying will.
For another thing, there are two distinct use cases for this technology. The first is the aforementioned mobility, whether it is complete paralysis or simply helping people with walking difficulties move a little easier. The second is work. Exoskeletons have great potential for relieving the burden of lifting heavy objects or standing for long periods. For this reason, many companies such as Esko Bionics have created two distinct divisions to serve both sides.
So it’s a great potential market, although it will still take a number of years to mature. For this reason, we are only talking about rough projections here. I think there is still room for some smaller companies to carve out a significant business in the category.
Also, I won’t be surprised when larger companies get involved in the category. It’s a good way to put your stamp on the robotics category. Samsung’s GEMS is definitely the most popular product in the category this week at CES, even if it didn’t guarantee plenty of time on stage. It debuted at the event two years ago and we got to try it out. For now, the news was focused on hardware improvements such as the battery and the start of clinical trials, a necessary part of bringing this type of healthcare or adjacent healthcare product to market.
As with most of Samsung’s robotics announced at this week’s show, the jury is still very far off as to how seriously the company is taking the product. Last year he made a brief appearance at CES as part of an “immersive training experience”.
Some smaller companies have shown interesting rumors. Archelis Inc., based in Japan, takes the top spot, introducing ArchelisFX, whose name derives from the Japanese word for “walkable chair”. The device is designed for a number of different scenarios, including back pain and those who have recently undergone surgery. The company says it will be available for rent or purchase for around $ 5,000.
Overall, the exoskeletons on display at this year’s virtual CES tend largely towards the mobility side of the equation. Notably absent was Sarcos Robotics, which announced a partnership with Delta Airlines at last year’s event. In September, the company leveraged this interest to raise a $ 40 million round.