Is the exoskeleton going to democratize? – rts.ch

While the exoskeleton technology matures, it is struggling to reach the general public. In question, very high prices and lack of mass production.

Run fast, limiting your efforts. Researchers at Stanford University have invented an electronic device that clips only around the shin and into a running shoe. Their results are spectacular. Participants went 40% faster.

Two motors controlled by Artificial Intelligence help the leg to move down when pushed to the ground. This research is now focused on reducing energy consumption and improving comfort. Tests should also be performed with an older population.

Today’s Outcrops No longer belong to the world of science fiction. But they remain limited to niche areas.

We are looking for it The factory. According to the BBC, car manufacturers such as Fiat and General Motors are currently testing equipment, such as gloves that increase worker strength by 20% or even cover that reduce effort by 50% .

Hifti’s Exo-1 is available from February this year. It works without batteries, using only a mechanical system of traction cable [Hifti]Liechtenstein professional tooling company Hilty has just released an exoskeleton specifically designed for plumbers and electricians or someone who needs to do repetitive work above the shoulders. The purpose is to give relief to the joints of the worker, but also to carry a weight of 4 kg without feeling the weight.

The medical field is also at the forefront of the exoskeleton, mainly in rehabilitation. L’EPFL Had attracted the attention of the general public for this technology by introducing Twice One in 2018. A device that allows paraplegics to run.

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>> “I saw my body getting up in wheelchairs for the first time after 9 years.”

Endangered species - exoskeleton [RTS]
Endangered Species – Exoskeleton / Color 3: Various audio / 2 min. / 28 August 2014

But these new technologies often come at a high cost. Permission to walk between 70 and 150,000 francs for a medical exoskeleton. We are still far from the tariffs that would allow democratization of these products.

When will the exoskeleton be for the general public? This is not a utopia for Mohammed Bauri, the head of a research group of EPFL specializing in robot assisted devices. “We are in an industrialization phase rather than a research phase. Research has done its job and scientific progress has made it possible to say ‘Yes, it is possible’. We should now say, ‘Yes, we can produce it Huh.” Yes, we can sell it.

>> an exoskeleton for skiing. Report from 7:30 pm (05.02.21)

Augmented skiing: an exoskeleton on the slope [RTS]
Augmented skiing: an exoskeleton on the slope / 7:30 pm / 2 min. / 5 February, 2021

This expected industrialization should allow an improvement in the scale and technology of the economy. For the purpose of lowering prices.

According to a study by ABBS Research, global exoskeleton revenue is expected to grow from 392 million francs in 2020 to 6.8 billion in 2030.

But the process can be very long. The first mass-produced electric bicycle dates from the 1930s. For commercial success, it was not until the 21st century.

Pascal Vassar

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