Aug 25, 2023
Powered exoskeleton designed to take the strain out of senior care
Most of German Bionic's power suits are designed to assist workers in industrial facilities, but the company's latest device is aimed at supporting healthcare professionals in hospitals, elderly care
Most of German Bionic's power suits are designed to assist workers in industrial facilities, but the company's latest device is aimed at supporting healthcare professionals in hospitals, elderly care or rehab units.
Following its introduction at VivaTech 2023 in Paris in June to "support caregivers in their day-to-day work," German Bionic has now launched the Apogee+ powered exoskeleton to the North American market.
It's pitched as a "personal lift assist" for nurses, care workers and other healthcare professionals who need to get to grips with a patient, elderly care resident or someone undergoing physical therapy – without needing to risk strain or injury to themselves, or break out complicated support equipment (such as harnesses and cranes).
Full specs have not been revealed, but the exosuit is reported to offer up to 66 lb (30 kg) of back relief per lift, as well as active walking support, and is available with leg straps and vest sizes to suit a range of user sizes. It also features hand grips towards the rear of the monocoque framework to give the patient something to hold onto during a lift maneuver.
The Apogee+ benefits from IP54 waterproofing, which means that care workers don't have to worry about covering or protecting the device while washing or showering patients. The structure is reported to have "less surface area for bacteria and germs to accumulate" while also making the device easier to disinfect.
Though not mentioned in the press materials, it's likely that the system makes use of the same off-the-shelf battery pack as the company's sixth-generation industrial-focused Apogee power suit, which is good for around four to five hours of per-charge use. And the Plus model is fully connected, allowing users and admins to tap into real-time metrics.
"With its full range of features, our new Apogee+ power suit is designed to help ease the extremely demanding working conditions in these system-critical professions, making the jobs safer and more sustainable," said company founder and CEO, Armin G. Schmidt. "Based on our early success in the European market, we firmly believe that our smart exosuits will soon become an indispensable part of everyday practice at health clinics and nursing homes here in the US."
The Apogee+ is up for sale now starting from US$9,990, with Robotics-as-a-Service leasing also available for $299 per month. German Bionic will be at the MEDICA tradeshow in Düsseldorf between November 13 and 16 to showcase and demonstrate the technology.
Source: German Bionic