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Exoskeleton for skiers gives your knees robotic boost

It could help you with tougher ski hills, too.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 29, 2018
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Roam Robotics

Skiing and snowboarding aren't gentle on your body, especially if you're taking on a challenging run or plan on a long day. Now, however, technology might ease your burden. Roam Robotics has unveiled an exoskeleton built expressly to reduce the burden on your knees. Sensors in the exoskeleton gauge your intent and use a mix of air bladders and fabric actuators to automatically tweak the torque in your knees. There's a manual option, too, if you know what motion to expect.

Roam primarily pitches the exoskeleton as an assist for older skiiers, particularly those who might have muscle fatigue or knee problems. However, it also sees this as a bionic helper for downhill enthusiasts in their prime. It could help you carve turns that would normally be difficult, let you stay on the slopes for longer, or just reduce the soreness when you're done.

This should be more affordable than the sort of exoskeletons used in medical care or at work, but it'll still represent a significant investment. It'll take $99 to reserve the exoskeleton ahead of its expected January 2019 release, and the yet-to-be-determined price is expected to sit between $2,000 and $2,500. Roam's gear is for enthusiasts who want to make the most of every skiing season.

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