The Eksoskeleton Leading Edge

In yesterday’s New York Times,Brian Chen writes about Ekso, a company that has pushed robotic prosthetic exoskeletons forward far enough to begin delivery to fifteen rehabilitation centers.  The principals talk about a future in which patients walk, thanks to this type of robotic “symbiot” everywhere, from the mall and sidewalk to, someday, a hiking trail. The current spects are daunting: three hours battery life, $140,000 list price.  But you can draw a straight line from the present capabilities of these machines to a future in which we ever more rarely look down at an individual who is sitting in a wheelchair, instead facing them eye to eye and walking with them, everywhere.  As I discuss in chapter two, this just may go down as the most socially positive robotic technology ever to be borne in the world of DARPA and spin out into our peaceful realms. Exciting times ahead on this front.

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