Exoskeletons are increasingly common in industrial settings, where they are used to reduce stress on the bodies of workers. But why should not we take advantage of this technology in other physically demanding environments? Like, for example, the ski slope?
Roam Robotics is a startup that does just that, and this week presented a prototype ski exoskeleton that, according to the company, will help both experts and amateurs. The device resembles a pair of leg braces connected to a backpack, and uses a series of bladders filled with air to mimic the movements of users. When users bend their knees, the bladder inflates or deflates automatically, removing some of the tension in the leg muscles.
Roam Robotics says that they are basically "intelligent shock absorbers" and believes that the device will have great appeal. The company claims that the exoskeleton will make older skiers feel younger and they can stay on the slope longer. And for athletes, the device is supposed to help them train for days on end with less fatigue.
So far, the company has only built prototypes, but is in the process of finalizing a commercial product, which is scheduled to launch in January 2019. Interested skiers can pay $ 99 to reserve a unit, although the final price is expected range between $ 2,000 and $ 2,000, 5,000. Fast Company, which tested a prototype version on a covered ski treadmill, said the benefits of the device were quite clear. "Every time I started a turn, the system activated, delivering power to my legs and, literally, making me feel like I was getting up, which, of course, took the pressure off my quadriceps," writes journalist Daniel Terdiman.
So if you're going to ski next year, look for someone with robotic legs. Maybe they get help from an exoskeleton.