Are Wearable Robots Set To Be The Next Automobile?

Robotic exoskeletons and bionic mobility aides can help people carry more weight, run faster, and regain movement after injury or impairment. Now some are saying this technology will be as important to the future of manufacturing as the automobile was to its past. That doesn’t meant wearable robots and exoskeletons will take the place of cars in our lives, but demand for them could have a major effect on manufacturing companies and innovators. Just how much is the wearable robot market expanding?

Are Wearable Robots the Future of Manufacturing? | Government Technology

Ekso+wearable+robotImage Source: Government Technology

“The rehabilitation robot market is expanding and expected to grow from $43.3 million last year to $1.8 billion by 2020, according to a WinterGreen report published last year. Ekso is not yet profitable, but analysts are optimistic about the company’s future, citing its potential to transform the rehabilitation market. […]Today, the company is led by Nathan Harding and Russ Angold and has 85 employees, most of whom work in Richmond. Many of its projects are with the U.S. military and its subcontractors like Lockheed Martin; others are focused on the health care market. Many are still prototypes, with more than 100 patents pending internationally. Engineers at Ekso compare robotics today to an early model car or cellphone.”

Do you think the projected growth in wearable robotics and bionic manufacturing makes sense? Even if this sort of technology shows promise, will it have the same revolutionary effect that autos and cellphones once did? Tell us what you think in the comments.