Robotic assisted exoskeleton update

Categories: Latest News.

The Wall Street Journal recently caught up with the bionic assist of exoskeleton-type robotic suits, to assist paraplegics in walking again. This article is about Ekso Bionics of Berkeley, California and their 50-pound suit, which they expect to go to market for those with spinal cord injuries next year. Their initial target is physical therapists (at $130,000) but the eventual aim is, within two years, home and personal use. Activity is high here: we’ve written about the Argo ReWalk in test with the VA¬†[TA 29 June], and Cyberdyne’s robotic assists for limbs (‘Grandpa’s helper) going back to 2009 [TA 6 Nov 2009]. Also in the field are Lockheed Martin (for military applications) and New Zealand’s Rex Bionics. For all the need and the relatively quick advance of the technology (in weight, ability and price), what is a black cloud in the article is, once again, the FDA’s sluggishness and (some would say) excessive caution in approving these devices for trials. Let’s trust that ‘Forget Distribution in America’ doesn’t apply here. Meet the Real Bionic Man