Affordable and lightweight suitX design honored
Earlier this spring, the startup company suitX won a Robotics for Good competition for their plan to adapt one of their exoskeleton designs to assist children with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida or spinal muscular atrophy.
“We can’t really fix their disease. We can’t fix their injury. But what it would do is postpone secondary injuries due to sitting. It gives a better quality of life.”
– Homayoon Kazerooni | ME professor, suitX co-founder
February 1 | MIT Technology Review
Co-founded in 2013 by mechanical engineering professor Homayoon Kazerooni and four other researchers from Berkeley, and with roots in the Robotics and Human Engineering Lab, suitX builds motorized exoskeletons designed to be more affordable than the competition. Their current models cost about $40,000, less than half the cost of others on the market.
Wearing suitX, the user’s knees and hips are assisted by small motors housed in the joints of the exoskeleton frame; controls are embedded in handheld crutches, and a battery backpack provides power. Modular components are adaptable to different sizes and mobility needs.
The Robotics for Good competition was hosted by the United Arab Emirates. The competition began with 664 entries from 121 countries, with suitX winning the top honor and $1 million prize.
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