South Korean Automobile maker Hyundai has come up with low cost exoskeletons which could not only give humans the ability to do more, be more (lift more!) but could also help disabled people walk once again.
Last week, the company displayed two types of robotic exoskeletons in Las Vegas at a private media event, namely H-Wex for industrial lifting and the H-Mex for helping disabled people walk.
In a blog post, the makers have compared these exoskeletons with iron man suits.
According to the company it gives the wearer extra strength, allows them to lift objects which are hundreds of kilograms in weight and in the future, the suits could potentially also be used in factories, by the military, or to help with physical rehabilitation.
As per Engadget, the current H-Mex only fits folks between five-foot-six and five-foot ten. Also, it requires pretty tough training to learn how to use it. According to the website, one would need the help of crutches for extra balance and to set their legs into motion. The suit has one button that moves the left leg forward and the other that moves the right. Also, there are buttons for sitting down, standing up and walking up and down stairs.
According to Tae Won Lim, senior vice president of Hyundai central advance research and engineering,
From a business perspective there’s a strong alignment between making a mobility robot and automobile.
Currently, the iron man suit maker is working on getting medical certifications in Korea and the United States for the H-Mex. Post that, the company will start installing demo units in 2019 and 2020 to see how patients and workers react to the exoskeletons.
Hyundai is not the only company working on robotic exoskeletons. Japanese electronics company, Panasonic too is developing similar suits for factory workers. In fact, the company released a video featuring its line-up of robotic exoskeletons back in March 2016 as well.
Other automakers like Audi and BMW are also testing exoskeletons that let engineers sit in mid-air without straining their backs.
A future where we could shop for exoskeletons as easily as buying cars? Sounds good to me.