Improving Mobility for Seniors: The Revolutionary Samsung EX1 Wearable Robot

Muscle mass tends to decline as you get older, impacting your walking and increasing the risk of falls. “Using the wearable robot EX1, older adults can effectively perform simple exercises such as walking and fitness, thereby improving their quality of life,” says research lead, Professor Wan-hee Lee. “Our findings provide a solid foundation for developing various types of improved and advanced wearable robots,” Lee. “This will further expand the global wearable robot market, promoting further research and commercialization.”It’s not certain when or if the Samsung EX1 might actually hit the market. Even so, anticipate assistive wearable robotics becoming a lot more prevalent over the next decade.

I approach with caution when consumer electronics companies venture into the realm of robotics. It often seems like a flashy tactic to boost their future prospects, rather than a genuine effort to innovate. More often than not, these grandiose demonstrations onstage turn out to be nothing more than empty promises.

However, Samsung has been relatively reserved in their ambitions for robotics. While Ballie may eventually come to fruition, I remain doubtful about their more advanced projects, such as dishwashing and food preparing robots. It’s unlikely that we’ll see these futuristic machines anytime soon.

In 2019, the company unveiled three different robots at CES. One of the most intriguing was the wearable exoskeleton, for two main reasons. Firstly, it was a practical product already available on the market. And secondly, they had functioning models on display at the event. I even had the opportunity to try one on, and it did in fact assist me as I climbed stairs in Samsung’s booth.

This week, Sahmyook University showcased some of the ongoing work they’re doing in conjunction with Samsung on the exoskeleton front. While details are still scarce about EX1 (not to be confused with an old Samsung digital camera sharing the same name), there are some promising developments.

“EX1 falls into the category of ‘robotic age-tech’,” explains Professor Wan-hee Lee, the lead researcher on the project. “It’s specifically designed to improve balance and movement in older people. As we age, our muscle mass decreases, which can hinder everyday movements and increase the risk of falls.”

The wearable device is intended for both assistive purposes and guided exercises. According to the study, participants who wore EX1 for 50 minutes a day, three times a week for a month saw significant improvements in their stride length (12%) and propulsion (21%).

“We believe that EX1 can play a valuable role in enhancing the lives of older adults,” says Lee. “By using this wearable robot, they can effectively perform simple exercises and improve their overall quality of life. It can also serve as a useful guide for exercising correctly and safely.”

Although it’s uncertain if and when the Samsung EX1 will hit the market, this project offers a promising glimpse into the future of assistive wearable robotics. With continued research and development, it’s likely that we’ll see more and more of these devices in the next decade.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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