Are exoskeletons our worst or best ally?
They can be considered the worst as they are essentially big, heavy, constraining shells that could be uncomfortable, restrictive, and awkward to move around in.
However, exoskeletons can also provide superhuman strength, durability, and protection from environmental hazards. They have a cool appearance and can be quite intimidating – that’s a power move!
Should we be concerned about the rising demand for exoskeletons in the robotics industry due to their massive capabilities in enhancing human strength and mobility? Or should we embrace it?
Exoskeletons are becoming an increasingly important part of the robotics industry. An exoskeleton is a wearable device that provides external support and enhances the strength and range of motion of the wearer’s limbs.
Exoskeletons can help reduce physical strain by supporting some of the weight and assisting with motions. This can potentially improve productivity and reduce workplace injuries. It allows paraplegics to walk again or gives people with limited mobility increased independence.
Technology has never been a straightforward path and is often seen as having both godly and devilish features, like two sides of a single coin. On one side, we see the potential benefits of enabling the handicapped human race to overcome its limitations, but we also fear how far this technology could go.
Exoskeletons find heavy use in various applications, such as heavy industries, physical rehabilitation, and other sectors. They have been gaining traction in the robotics industry due to their potential benefits, including reducing injuries, improving productivity, and restoring mobility.
However, exoskeletons do face major challenges in the robotics industry, such as high costs, power supply requirements, and comfort issues.
According to a Grand View Research report, the global exoskeleton market was valued at USD 334.5 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 16.9% in terms of revenue.
Another report by Mordor Intelligence shows that the exoskeleton market size will grow from USD 354.22 million in 2021 to USD 1620.04 million in 2027, with a CAGR of 12.5%.
According to GlobeNewswire, the market size for exoskeleton robotic systems will rise from USD 1.00114 billion in 2021 to USD 4.22463 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 23%.
The main factors driving market growth include the increasing demand for assistive technology, particularly in the healthcare and orthopedic rehabilitation sectors, a rising prevalence of strokes, and increased investments in the defense sector.
Leading countries in this market include China, Japan, the U.S., and Germany. China and Japan are prominent in healthcare and industrial applications in the Asian market, while the U.S. leads in advanced military and healthcare sectors.
Germany also plays a significant role in Europe, with several innovative companies and research institutes focused on exoskeleton technology. Leading companies, such as Lockheed Martin Corporation, Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc., Parker Hannifin Corporation, Hyundai Motor Company, and Rewalk Robotics Ltd, have shown their support by investing in research and development, partnerships, and acquisitions to expand their market presence and customer base.
As per the GlobeNewswire report, the healthcare segment accounted for the largest revenue share of 30.4% in 2020, followed by the industrial segment with a share of 25.9%.
According to the Mordor Intelligence report, the North American region dominated the market with a share of 41.2% in 2020, followed by the Asia-Pacific region with a share of 28.9%.
In my opinion, Exoskeletons have the potential to bring about significant advancements in various sectors. They can enhance productivity and safety in industries by reducing the risk of injuries and improving the efficiency of tasks. Additionally, they offer valuable assistance and rehabilitation options for people with disabilities, enabling them to regain mobility and independence.
In military applications, exoskeletons can provide performance augmentation, granting soldiers increased strength and endurance. As technology continues to improve, exoskeletons are likely to become more accessible and versatile, further expanding their applications and contributing to the growth of the robotics industry.
Overall, exoskeleton technology holds great promise in improving the quality of life for individuals and enhancing productivity in various fields.