BERKELEY, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 1, 2016) - suitX, a California-based robotics company designing and manufacturing medical and industrial exoskeletons, announces the official launch of Phoenix, one of the world's lightest and most advanced medical exoskeletons for people with mobility disorders. In lieu of complicated hardware, suitX uses a wealth of state-of-the-art embedded intelligence and minimal design to make exoskeletons accessible, simple to manufacture, and lower cost. At an estimated $40,000, Phoenix is two to four times less expensive than competing products and can be broken down into functionally independent modules that work both by themselves and as part of Phoenix. And at 27 pounds, it is one of the world's lightest commercial exoskeletons.
Exoskeletons are essentially wearable robots with an outer framework that are worn by a person to assist with movement, enhance strength and endurance, depending on their purpose. Specializing in both medical and industrial exoskeletons, suitX (also known as U.S. Bionics, Inc.) is the result of years of research from the University of California at Berkeley's Human Engineering Lab.
Today suitX is also announcing that its submission to the Robotics for Good Competition for a pediatric medical exoskeleton has been named one of only 20 shortlisted for the top prize from a pool of 664 entries from 121 countries to compete at the final judging ceremony in Dubai. See video link here. The winner will be announced February 5th.
Aimed at helping children affected by neurological conditions like Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida in which walking is difficult or impossible, the SuitX proposal builds on the Phoenix platform with several modifications in hardware and software to improve the acquisition of locomotion skills by children. The goal is to develop technologies that lead to an exoskeleton that quickly promotes walking skills among children during the narrow timeframe when children more easily acquire locomotion skills.
suitX is led by CEO Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni. Dr. Kazerooni previously founded Ekso Bionics in 2005. He has also been involved with numerous exoskeleton projects over the years, such as HULC, which has been used for military application. In 2013, he along with several graduate students founded suitX.
"We started suitX out of our passion to develop low-cost consumer bionic products to improve the quality of life for people around the world," Dr. Kazerooni said. "We have tackled problems associated with design, human machine interface (HMI), actuation, power management, and control during the development of our medical exoskeletons. We designed the Phoenix to be accessible and versatile so that it can be used by children."
Phoenix Medical Exoskeleton-- World's Lightest and Most Advanced
suitX exoskeletons comprise a hip module, two knee modules and two feet modules so users have the freedom to choose a module tailored for their intended activity. Users can independently put on and remove each component and it can be easily adjusted to fit different-sized users. See videos at www.suitx.com
The Phoenix medical exoskeleton also features:
- Battery life of 4 hours continuous walking (8 hours of intermittent use)
- Maximum recorded speed of 1.1 mph (0.5 m/s)
- Gait parameters can be tuned by a trained physical therapist through an Android app
"Our products help the everyday person with a realistic price point and we focus on improving the human quality of life. The team has continuously innovated low cost exoskeleton systems that eventually allowed a paraplegic student to walk the podium for his graduation," Dr. Kazerooni explained. The company is taking Phoenix orders now and the first of the Phoenix exoskeletons will be available in March. Journalists will be invited to an open house for a demo at that time.
Images available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/96020427@N07/albums/72157663921158876
suitX is a robotics company which designs and manufactures both medical and industrial exoskeletons, designed to solve common problems faced by workers and people with gait impairment to make everyday life better. suitX has received Series A investments, been awarded two National Science Foundation awards, and won a Saint Gobain Nova Innovation Award. For more information, visit www.suitX.com