ajunews Thursday,29 February 2024

Samik THK to commercialize muscle-assistive wearable robot 'Moonwalk-Omni'

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : February 6, 2024, 17:21 Updated : February 6, 2024, 20:57
Courtesy of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology
[Courtesy of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology]

SEOUL -- South Korea's state-run science and technology research institute has transferred technology for "Moonwalk-Omni," a wearable robot designed to increase the strength of elderly people's hip joints, to a domestic factory automation solution provider Samik THK. Starting in 2026, the company will mass-produce the robot targeting the healthcare market.

The strength-assistance device weighing about two kilograms (4.4 pounds) can be easily put on by the elderly. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) earlier revealed a video of a 65-year-old man wearing Moonwalk-Omni reaching the peak of Yeongbong, standing at 604 meters on Bukhan Mountain.

KIST said on February 6 that the technology for Moonwalk-Omni has been transferred to Samik THK. Over the next two years, the two parties will collaborate on joint research projects to commercialize the technique, supporting the rehabilitation and daily routines of older adults.

Wearable robots have been adopted by many fields in South Korea, including construction, military, and medical industries. In 2021, some 300 million won ($220,000) in state money was injected into a rehabilitation initiative in Namyangju, an eastern satellite city of Seoul. The robot, sent to a rehab center in Namyangju, tracks and monitors the movement of patients to offer personalized programs. 

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