One of the interesting sights at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was Hyundai‘s reveal of products in development. But they weren’t cars. Hyundai introduced three exoskeleton wearable robots called, respectively, H-MEX, HUMA, and H-WEX. We’ve written about exoskeleton products often, most recently for children, for soldiers and seniors, and one concept that harvests energy while moving. Hyundai showed designs for three different mobility issues.
The H-MEX, Hyundai Medical Exoskeleton, assists people with lower spinal cord injuries. Designed for paraplegics, the H-MEX has an onboard motion control system that uses a wireless clutch to help them sit, stand, move, turn, and walk. They can even go up and down stairs.
HUMA, the Hyundai Universal Medical Assist exoskeleton, helps people with limited muscle power. HUMA can support up to 40 kg (about 88 pounds) of the wearer’s weight and provides extra torque to assist body movements such as walking, running, and moving up and down stairs. According to Hyundai, when not carrying any extra load, the HUMA can run up to 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles) per hour, which could give it potential for industrial and military uses.
H-WEX, the Hyundai Waist Exoskeleton, helps with lifting heavy objects and doing repetitive tasks. The H-WEX uses an algorithm to ensure user safety as it enables joint flexing at up to 180 degrees per second. The frame supports and protects the user’s lower back and upper legs.
Hyundai’s entrance into the field of medical and human assistive technology gives the company an opportunity to apply robotics developments and tools used in the automotive industry to create products that can help with medical conditions and workplace injury prevention.