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Samsung’s EX1 portable robot is made to help older people move around better.

I’m leery about consumer electronics companies entering robotics. The category attracts attention for firms seeking to improve their future. The systems presented on stage are typically vaporware.

Samsung has been coy about its robotics goals. Ballie may launch later, but what about more advanced dishwashing and food-preparation robots? I am not holding my breath.

At CES 2019, the business displayed three robots. The wearable exoskeleton was particularly appealing for two reasons. A practical product first. Many of these options are already available. Second, the event had operating units. I tested one on, and it helped me climb the corporate booth steps.

This week, Seoul’s Sahmyook University showed off its robot exosuit study with Samsung. EX1 (not to be confused with an old Samsung digital camera by the same name) has some promising findings but few specifics.

The system fits the rising robotics age-tech sector. The hip-worn gadget improves balance and mobility in seniors. Older people lose muscle mass, which affects walking and increases fall risk.

Professor Wan-hee Lee, study lead, says the wearable robot EX1 helps elderly people move and exercise, enhancing their quality of life. “EX1 can increase active participation and guide proper exercise.”

The gadget is for guided exercises and assistive wear. The study found that wearing EX1 for 50 minutes, three times a week for a month, enhanced stride length by over 12% and propulsion by 21%.

“Our findings provide a solid foundation for developing various types of improved and advanced wearable robots,” Lee said. “This will expand the global wearable robot market, encouraging research and commercialization.”

When and if the Samsung EX1 will be released is unknown. However, expect more supportive wearable robotics in the next decade.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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