suitX founder and former CEO Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni (left) with Dr. Samuel Reimer (right), who heads the U.S. business of Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons. (photo: Ottobock)
suitX founder and former CEO Dr Homayoon Kazerooni (left) with Dr Samuel Reimer (right), who heads Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons.

Medical device manufacturer, Ottobock, has announced that is now set to become a world leader in exoskeleton technology after it acquired a 100 per cent stake in the California-based developer suitX.

The deal is one that makes sense for Ottobock, which builds its own exoskeletons, along with prosthetics and orthotics.

Both effectively operate in the same category, producing robotic exoskeletons designed for two distinct purposes: work assistance and healthcare.

SuitX currently produces three work exoskeletons (back, shoulder and leg) and two health-related systems: the Phoenix for walking assistance and the ShieldX, which is designed to take the stress off of carrying heavy lead aprons. More recently, it has begun trials for a robotic knee brace called Boost Knee.

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Ottobock produces its own exoskeletons, including the Paexo Shoulder, which is designed to support the neck, back and shoulders during overhead work.

Ottobock Industrials will be renamed to Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons and will continue to focus on occupational exoskeletons.

The Paexo brand will still be managed from Duderstadt, Germany.

suitX founder and former CEO Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni will remain with the company in the role of Chief Scientist while Dr Samuel Reimer heads the U.S. business of Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons.

Philipp Schulte-Noelle, CEO of Ottobock, commented: “Together with suitX, Ottobock´s exoskeletons business Paexo will become a world-leading provider of exoskeletons in production, logistics, servicing, and the trade sector.

“We will jointly create significant socio-economic benefits by improving occupational health for employees while reducing sickness absence and treatment costs for companies and healthcare systems.

“This transaction increases our footprint and network in North America and comes at the perfect time as we expect the market for occupational exoskeleton solutions to grow dynamically in the coming years.”

Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni added: “I feel fortunate that I am now put in a position to deliver our life-enhancing medical and industrial exoskeleton products globally.

“This step is a success not only for suitX but also for the University of California, Berkeley, where entrepreneurial endeavors are fostered to their greatest extent for the good of humans worldwide.

“I’m looking forward to bringing our technologies to communities internationally with Ottobock for better quality of life. That’s what it is all about, and it makes me very happy.”

Established in the UK in 1976, Ottobock is a supplier of innovative and practical solutions that restore human mobility and help people to rediscover personal independence.

Its product range includes prosthetic and orthotic components, wheelchairs, and rehabilitation and mobility products, including the recently launched Wingus power wheelchair.

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