Ekso Bionics has Wearable Robotic Suits
Think of the possibilities for those that have suffered mobility setbacks and working in an environment that requires movement and heavy lifting. At first thought it seems impossible; but there is such a way, and a company called Ekso Bionics is doing it. The company is a spin-off of UC Berkeley’s Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory. Originally they created soft exoskeletons to help soldiers carry heavy equipment in the field, but today the exoskeletons, called EksoVests, help factory workers in tedious, repetitive and taxing tasks. Recently they partnered with Ford to bring these wearable robotic suits to the Michigan factory workers. This deal was paid for by the United Auto Workers union and the plan is for the suits to be in factories all over the world. Ekso Bionics’ main focus is on rehabilitation. The suits are lightweight and offer wearable assistance to those with mobility setbacks from physical health complications. Scheder-Bieschin, an executive with Ekso Bionics, says that in the foreseeable future the exoskeletons are going to be comparably natural in everyday life to the smart phone today.