Machine Design
More people get access to exoskeletons

More people get access to exoskeletons

Argo Medical Technologies (Marlborough, Mass.), will partner with Yaskawa Electric Corp. (Waukegan, Ill.) to expand distribution of Argo’s ReWalk exoskeleton device into Asia. Argo’s exoskeleton, which consists of an exterior bionic system, helps disabled individuals walk, stand, and sit. The electronic components include a rechargeable backpack battery -- able to last for an entire day -- and a wrist-mounted remote built with motion sensors. The people who wear ReWalk can be up to 6 ft. 3 in. and can weigh up to 220 lb. (Even though they are in the exoskeleton, users with lower-limb disabilities or paraplegia need to use crutches.)  

There are two models of ReWalk exoskeleton, one for rehab, the other for personal use. Both models are currently available in the U.S. However, the personal version is pending FDA review. The price tag in the U.S. is $85,000. Through Argo’s partnership with Yaskawa, the Asian distributor for motion and control products plans to supply ReWalk exclusively to Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, and Thailand. 

Last year, Clare Lomas became the first person to finish a marathon with the assistance of a bionic suit. The paralyzed woman completed the London Marathon in 16 days wearing the ReWalk exoskeleton.

Watch a demonstration of ReWalk below.

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