Powered exoskeleton is a wearable mobile device which is powered by a system of hydraulics, pneumatics, electric motors, levers, or a combination of technologies which permit limb movement with improved strength & endurance. It is also known as powered armor, exoframe, power armor, powered suit, hardsuit or exosuit. It may include sensors which sense gait initiation & transition. These exoskeletons promise to enhance quality of life people with lower body paralysis or weaken legs by restoring legged mobility. The exoskeletons are further hard to make & even harder to cure. It is primarily used for spinal cord injury (SCI). It acts as a pure science invention to the customer at any time soon. Moreover, the use of exoskeletons expensive to buy, expensive to build, and are further unreliable in long term application.
Some of the limitations and design issues are actuators, power supply, joint flexibility, skeleton, power control & modulation, pinching & joint fouling, detection of unsafe or invalid motions, and adaptation based on varied user sizes.
According to study, “Global Powered Exoskeletons Market 2016-2023 by Application, Body, Motor and Region” some of the major companies that are currently working in the global powered exoskeletons market are AlterG, Inc., Wearable power-assist locomotor exoskeleton (WPAL, Fujita Health University), Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd, Bionik Laboratories Corp., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Cyberdyne, Inc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, European Space Agency, Walk Trainer (SWORTEC), M.I.T. Media Lab’s Biomechatronics Group, Ekso Bionics eLEGS, ExoLite Exoskeleton, Ghent University, Panasonic Corporation (Activelink), Hocoma, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Myomo, RB3D, Rex Bionics Plc., Kinesis Inc., U.S. Bionics, Inc. (suitX), ReWalk Robotics Ltd., Sarcos or Raytheon Corporation.
The progresses to the technology in biomedical, mechanical, and electronic engineering & artificial intelligence powered exoskeleton technology registered a fast development. The main applications of these exoskeletons are in medical, military, industrial and civilian industries.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center determining the costs of living with SCI that can be considerable, and vary significantly owing to the severity, loss of income and age of the injury. SCI has a considerable impact on a person’s quality of life (QOL) & health status. Decreased mobility related to high blood pressure, social stigma, shorter life expectancy, and increased rates of depression.
The global powered exoskeletons demand is primarily driven by the high-density storage systems, evolution of batteries, increasing orthopedic disorders and lightweight structural materials use. In addition, high price and weight of exoskeletons adding to the major restraining of the market. Moreover, ability to control or modulate unwanted movements, flexibility, and detection of unsafe motions adding to the things which require attention in order to achieve acceptability.
Throughout 2017-2023, global demand of powered exoskeletons is expected to reach with the market value of over US $2.6 billion which includes rent, sales, royalty payment, lease and other sources. It is also estimated that the overall shipment from direct sales of powered exoskeletons to reach 28,820 units due to an exponential growth in demand.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications