Exoskeleton products are not relatively new to be introduced in the market, it’s been over a hundred years since the first exoskeleton like product was developed in 1890 by a Russian engineer Nicholas Yagn, an apparatus for assisting movements. Exoskeletons were not something totally unheard of though, many animals and insects naturally have exoskeletons for their own biological purposes like turtles, snails, etc. An exoskeleton usually pertains to an external body covering feature facilitating a certain biological process thereby, originating from this thought exoskeleton products are wearable electromechanical augmented devices specifically developed to enhance the physical performance of the wearer or as an wearable orthotic device for gait rehabilitation and locomotive assistance, though a lot of research and development activities are going on which may even extend their operational capabilities to even more human and non-human processes.
The Exoskeleton industry has been growing at a steady pace since 2015 -2018, registering a market value of a little more than 300 million USD in 2018 but is expected to reach a market worth of almost 11 billion USD by 2027 with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 50%. Practical applications for exoskeleton products range from medical and civil to production and military purposes. Huge investments are being made for research and development activities in this industry anticipated with a great ROI (Return on Investment).
Exoskeleton products offer a great deal of practical benefits not only in the medical field, like joint and muscle support devices or attachable and breakthroughs in the field of physiotherapy, but also for civil, production, operational and military purposes. The visible benefits of these products may very well be a requisite criteria to boost up the productivity in many sectors of the business world since a greater analysis and quantification of productivity will be attainable. Productivity could be successfully and more accurately be predicted with the implementation of this technology. Improved work place comfort through postural support and reduced muscle fatigue will certainly help in improving the quality of work being performed, thereby establishing a clear cut operational competency for many businesses. Labor forces in the production and manufacturing sector would also be extremely benefited with better and greater capacity to work along with a gradual decrease in the number of injuries suffered. Supply chains will also get automated thereby eliminating tedious tasks and processes otherwise employing huge amount of space and costs. Besides all this military and defense sector will specifically be able to avail an unprecedented amount of benefits as well. Bionic robotic suits, technologically integrated weapons and other highly efficient and effective equipment are under the process of development which indeed can practically reform the foundation of the defense sector itself.
Top 10 Companies In Exoskeleton Market
Knowing the breakthroughs which might happen owing to any new technological advancement in the market there will always be some drawbacks to it as well. One of the major concern besides from the utterly expensive costs associated with procuring this technology, is how to handle the power supply and mobility issues. Since exoskeleton products run on power a lot of research is going on into how to effectively synthesize this aspect of the technology into a process. Hydrogen batteries and other electrically charged equipment often cause great discomforts to the user in the form of radiation issues and a short usage time span of the product itself. Lack of mobility and movement is also a major concern when it comes to the proper implementation of this technology. Since every individual is inconsistent in their physical features from the other, often the product would have to be distinctly designed and integrated individually. The muscles and tendons of human body are also stretchable and adaptable to different situations which might not be the case with these products therefore posing another problem causing modulation issues. This technology is still in its most crudest of forms and needs to be refined furthermore, therefore providing with an untapped amount of opportunities that are still yet to be discovered.
Keeping all this in mind a great number of companies do in fact realize the scope and potential of this technology in the world yet to come and as a part of the digitized and automated scenario this will most certainly be an integral part of the norm in the future. Some companies who are making huge strides in this field are :-
- Lockheed Martin Corporation – Lockheed Martin is a global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technology company and one the leading players to emerge in this industry. It has clients all across the globe with United States of America (USA) being its most prominent one. They have an established and excellent distribution system along with a well-funded R&D (Research and Development) wing focusing on upcoming and future projects. Some of its subsidiaries are Sikorsky Aircraft, Skunk Works, United Launch Alliance and Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems Inc.
- ReWalk Robotics Ltd. – Rewalk Robotics is arguably the most prestigious, sought after and innovative medical exoskeleton company that designs, develops and commercializes its products throughout the US, European, Asian-Pacific, Latin American and African countries. It develops a number of products for aiding mobility impairments to paraplegic individuals. It also is developing a lightweight exo-suit designed to support mobility and for therapy of people suffering from disabilities like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease. Its subsidiaries include ReWalk Robotics Inc. and ReWalk Robotics GMBH.
- Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc. – Ekso Bionics designs, develops and sells exoskeleton technology for healthcare and industrial markets. It manufactures powered exoskeletons which can be used to enhance strength, mobility and endurance. These specialized robots have applications in the medical, military, industrial and consumer markets. Ekso Health segment designs, engineers, manufactures and sells exoskeletons for applications in the medical market and Ekso Works segment does the same to allow able-bodied users to perform heavy duty work for extended periods of time. Its subsidiaries are Equipois Inc. and Ekso Bionics Inc.
- Parker Hannifin Corporation – Parker Hannifin is a leading manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems. It provides precision engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. It operates in two major segments namely, Diversified Industrial and Aerospace Systems delivering products for commercial, military air frame and engine program purposes. Its subsidiaries include Lord Corporation, Clarcor, Domnick Hunter and Parker.
- Hyundai Motor Company – Hyundai Motor manufactures, sells and exports passenger cars, trucks and commercial vehicles. In addition to its primary business units it also develops Vest Exoskeletons (VEX), a wearable robot to assist industrial workers who spend long hours working in overhead environments.
- Honda Motors Co. Ltd. – Honda Motors manufactures automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment. It has a specific business unit which deals with exoskeleton range of products under the name of Power Product and Other Business Segment.
- SuitX Inc. – Founded in 2012 and headquartered in California. SuitX develops robotic exoskeletons for the medical and industrial industries. This company developed the Phoenix, the world’s lightest and the most advanced medical exoskeleton designed to help people with medical disorders. Its other product MAX (Modular Agile Exoskeleton) increases productivity while decreasing the risk of injury by reducing muscle strain on employees working in an industrial setup. SuitX is one of the few companies making extraordinary breakthroughs in the industry of exoskeleton technologies.
- Bionic Laboratories Corporation – Bionic Laboratories is a medical device and robotics company. The company is focused on providing rehabilitation solutions and developing transformation technologies and solutions to individuals with neurological disorders, specializing in the designing, developing, and commercializing of physical rehabilitation technologies, prosthetic and assisted robotic products. It has various flagship patented products in the market like, the InMotion ARM, InMotion HAND, InMotion Wrist and InMotion ANKLE from their InMotion Systems line of products which are designed to provide patent-adaptive therapy in a manner that has been clinically verified to manage neuro-recovery. The company is also engaged in other developing activities aimed at providing rehabilitation assistance to paraplegics and wheelchair users.
- Myomo Inc. – Myomo (My Own Motion) is a wearable medical robotics company that offers mobility for those suffering from neuromuscular disorders and upper limb paralysis. It develops and sells arm braces to restore function in the paralyzed and weakened arms and hands of individuals that have suffered a stroke, spinal cord or nerve injuries.
- Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH – Otto Bock HealthCare manufactures orthotic, prosthetic and rehabilitation solutions for people with physical disabilities. The company essentially designs and develops artificial limbs and bracing components. It has its distribution and service network spread across 50 countries with its subsidiaries like Freedom Innovations, LLC, Otto Bock Healthcare LLP, Otto Bock Benelux B.V. and BionX Medical Technologies Inc.
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