Robotic exoskeleton upgrades will be on sale to the public by 2015
Imagine strapping an exoskelton strength enhancer to your ankle like a shoe. That's exactly what you will to be able do from 2015, thanks to Yaskawa Electric.
The Japanese company plans to be the first in the world to sell exoskeletons to the general public from 2015. The first device to go on sale will be the Ankle Walking Assist Device (AWAD) which enhances ankle strength and balance.
The wearer straps on the mech upgrade and attaches the complimentary battery pack to the waist. The boots then sense heel contact with the ground and deliver boosted strength to aid balance. This could be ideal for anybody recovering from an ankle injury or - it's target market - the elderly to help them remain mobile.
While the AWAD upgrades are aimed at the elderly initially, this is a big step forward - literally and metaphorically - for wearable technology. We'll all likely be wearing some iteration of a smartwatch and perhaps heads-up-display glasses by 2015, so why not upgrade our muscles while we're at it?
Yaskawa Electric has not suggested a price point for the AWAD boots yet but hopes to mass market them by 2015.