Roam Robotics is doing its part to help middle-aged and older adults navigate the ski slopes. The San Francisco-based developer of exoskeletons has released a mobile exoskeleton to elongate skiers and snowboarder’s stamina and safety on the slopes, according to a Business Wire report. While the company expects those benefitting the most from this device will be adults 45 and older who engage in snow sports with knee or muscle weakness, the exoskeleleton is expected to generate interest of the sixteen million U.S. adults of all ages who ski and snowboard.
According to the company, the device is intended to keep rider’s knees safe, extend longevity, and enjoy their passions without pain. The product consists of two braces that strap to the individual’s thighs and connect to their boots. On the back of the skier is a small backpack that weighs a couple pounds which holds the power source and controls.
The product will only kick in when the wearer needs support, otherwise it is fairly inconspicuous and easy to maintain while in use. The exoskeleton’s underlying notion is quite simple in that power is beneficial and weight is bad. This reflects on the actuator’s model which allows more power into the body with less weight. This approach allows for the product to be less expensive.
“Historically, exoskeletons have been large, bulky, and expensive,” Tim Swift, CEO and Founder of Roam Robotics, was quoted as saying in the Business Wire report “By creating a product essentially out of fabric and air, we can disrupt the relationship between weight and power, creating a lightweight device that can provide significant support to a wide spectrum of skiers.”
Additionally, the AI-powered software and skeletal hardware allows for the device to respond how the rider expects. The hardware uses machine learning software to predict accurate behaviors of the user in real time, this creates a unified momentum of power and motion.
“In the short term, we are helping people push their personal boundaries while skiing or snowboarding,” says Nikhil Dhongade, Chief Business Officer at Roam, according to Business Wire. “This is true for people that have knee issues or muscle fatigue, or for anyone that simply wants to improve endurance and augment the experience. In the long term, Roam wishes to develop powered devices to meet the needs of consumer applications where the body places limits on the experience.”