Samsung Enhances Mobility for Older Adults: EX1 Wearable Robot

Seoul-based Sahmyook University recently unveiled its collaborative effort with Samsung, showcasing the EX1, a wearable robot designed to assist and enhance mobility for older  adults. While specific details about the EX1 remain limited, preliminary results from the ongoing research project indicate promising outcomes, addressing concerns about the efficacy of consumer electronics companies venturing into the realm of robotics.

In contrast to the trend of flashy, often conceptual robotics demonstrations, Samsung has maintained a pragmatic approach, focusing on realistic and functional products. The EX1, a hip-worn exoskeleton, falls into the emerging category of robotic age-tech. This wearable device aims to counteract the natural decline in muscle mass associated with aging, contributing to improved balance and movement among older individuals.

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Professor Wan-hee Lee, the research lead at Sahmyook University, emphasized the dual functionality of the EX1. It serves both as an assistive wearable for everyday activities and as a tool for guided exercises. Preliminary findings from the study indicate significant improvements, with subjects experiencing over a 12% increase in stride length and a remarkable 21% boost in propulsion when using the EX1 for 50 minutes a day, three times a week, over a month.

Lee expressed optimism about the impact of the EX1, stating, “Using the wearable robot EX1, older adults can effectively perform simple exercises such as walking and fitness, thereby improving their quality of life.” The research findings lay the groundwork for the development of advanced wearable robots, potentially expanding the global market for assistive robotics.

While the timeline for the commercial availability of the Samsung EX1 remains uncertain, the collaboration with Sahmyook University reflects a broader trend in the industry towards the development of practical solutions for an aging population. Wearable robotics, such as the EX1, are anticipated to become more prevalent in the coming decade, addressing mobility challenges and enhancing the overall well-being of older individuals.