Skiing may have just gotten a little easier thanks to Roam Robotics’ Robotic SKI Exoskeleton. Originally developed in 2015 to assist soldiers and those with impaired mobility, the exoskeleton is wearable tech with “intelligent shock absorbers” that will markedly improve skier safety and comfort. Given its ability to help skiers ski longer and with less joint pain, this exoskeleton could soon become a common sight on the slopes.
The ski exoskeleton consists of leg braces that connect to a backpack. Air-filled bladders inflate or deflate automatically in sync with the wearer’s movements, absorbing mechanical shock and reducing muscle strain. The exoskeleton also connects to an iOS or Android app that controls torque level, switches between autonomous or manual modes, and displays performance metrics.
Since June, the exoskeleton has been tested on both indoor and outdoors slopes in the U.S. and Japan. According to the testimonials on Roam Robotic’s official website, users seem to be enjoying the tech; “I felt the power and energy as I held the edge on turns – which is what makes skiing fun for me,” noted one of the testers.
If you’d like to try it out for yourself, there will be commercial product trials available starting December 2018 at select U.S. ski destinations. Otherwise, you can place a reservation for $99. This reservation serves as a deposit and pre-order, ensuring you receive an exoskeleton as they roll out. The final price of Roam Robotic’s exoskeleton hasn’t been announced yet, but they estimate it to be between $2000 and $2500.