Sounds futuristic and convenient at the same time, this innovation is not just pure exoskeletons, but just light-weight powered clothing to help the population with mobility problems.
The aged population will no longer endure those crane and walkers. Grandparents will feel like superheroes as these suits will boost their mobility in order at the same time increase their productivity. Athletes will decrease chances of injury. Chances will be given to those with disabilities.
The technology came from SRI, the company that made Apple's Siri. The project was originally for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to make suits ease the load of their soldiers and lessen injuries. “Intelligent wearable strength” as they like to call it.
Chief Executive Rich Mahoney, said via Wall Street Journal that despite their company funding for soldier suits, its first product will involve the aged population due to market and demand. “It isn’t an exercise device or an industrial device. It’s a wellness device, a personal device,” he said.
“It feels like somebody’s helping you move if you had somebody’s hand on you and is helping you,” Mahoney also said, per Motherboard. The suit will support the parts of the user’s body like their torso, hips, and legs. The suits act as respondents when people try to lift, walk or stay upright, they will be the ones to assist your muscles in doing your task. How? The battery-powered suit can sense when your muscle is trying to do something and they will boost their support for you to do so. The hardware that acts as “electric muscles” will be the one responsible for supporting the person’s muscles.
While some seniors are open to the new technology development, as SuperFlex tested prototypes on aged people as old as 98, some seniors want a product with clear convenience and clear functionality. “Part of the reason we have fashion designers and textile designers leading the design is, we recognize we have to make it approachable and comfortable,” Mahoney added.
Last Tuesday, SuperFlex announced that they had already raised $9.6 million to make this powered suit available to the market. The funds raised was made possible with the help of Horizons Ventures, Root Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, Global Brain and SRI.
SuperFlex is expecting this powered suits to be made available in the market by 2018.
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