Companies across the United States are producing exoskeletons, giving humans strength and endurance to fulfill challenging tasks – and the technology could soon be available to all.
“The implications are, in a word, enormous,” says Jason Cottrell, the chief executive of MyPlanet, a Canadian software firm that has conducted surveys on the use of exoskeletons. “Labour-intensive industries like manufacturing and agriculture have always depended on a workforce that must endure a certain level of physical exhaustion and risk. Devices that support a person’s frame while doing their job will fundamentally change how the industries run.”
The external device – or wearable robot – supports, covers and protects users. California’s SuitX is already in use by car manufacturing workers at General Motors and Fiat where risks of injuries are lessening thanks to the device. The world is discovering the exoskeleton’s potential, and the technology is set to open up to a whole new market with recreational apparatuses. The industry generated $392 million in revenue in 2020 and is expected to reach $6.8 billion in 2030.