These Leg Robots Will Help Aging Skiers Get to the Lodge in One Piece
Love skiing but hate feeling like you just went skiing?
If you’ve watched Roger Federer and Tom Brady inexplicably sustain their athletic excellence well into their gray years and wondered, “Uh, how the hell are they doing that?”, you are not alone. If you would like to know how you can get in on that action, you are also not alone.
The answer largely boils down to medical science, which has evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing elite athletes to recover from injury and fend off fatigue with unprecedented ease. That science is also prohibitively expensive, for most. It was reported earlier this week that LeBron James spends upwards of $1.5m on his body each year.
One technology that is becoming more accessible to the everyman, though? Robotic exoskeletons that help shoulder the burden of strenuous activities.
We’ve previously seen their application in the industry sector, but a new company is using them to lower the impact of skiing on the aging outdoorsman’s knees and joints.
Roam Robotics released their first prototype this week, a souped-up leg brace that intuitively redistributes weight by utilizing a pair of air bladders that inflate as wearers turn and lunge their way down the mountain. The braces pair with a backpack that houses the device’s controls, and users can toggle between different modes according to their skill level and aggressiveness.
The company believes its device can help elite skiers extend training times, while promising aging or chronically injured athletes a way to get through the day a measure more comfortably.
A December 2018 release is touted (stay up to date here), and you can check out the braces in action below.
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