ExoAtlet, a Skolkovo resident startup that makes medical exoskeletons that enable wheelchair-users to walk again, has obtained certification of its product in South Korea, meaning its exoskeletons can be purchased by rehabilitation clinics and individual users around the country.
Korea is ExoAtlet’s second market: the company obtained certification in Russia last year. At the end of 2016, it set up a company in Seoul – ExoAtletAsia – together with Korean partners. ExoAtletAsia is the Russian robotics startup’s first foreign company.
“In Korea, we found people who have faith in the project and who wanted to develop it in their own country and take part,” said Elena Khromysheva, ExoAtlet’s product manager.
“Korea is a dynamically developing country with enormous consumer potential,” she said, adding that ExoAtletAsia plans to keep developing and launch sales on other Asian markets, including China.
The ExoAtlet enables people who have lost the use of their legs to stand up, sit down, walk and go up and down stairs without assistance. In addition to helping people recover their mobility, regular training in an exoskeleton has been shown to improve the patient’s muscle tone and a range of other heath factors, as well as their self-confidence and overall wellbeing.
“As I started using the robot, I noticed that my legs were getting a lot better and feeling healthier,” says one Korean man who lost the use of his legs over 20 years ago, in a video made by ExoAtletAsia.
“Many disabled people tend to stay indoors, so if felt really good being able to get the sun outside,” said another Korean user, a woman who was left disabled by an explosion.
ExoAtlet is now preparing to obtain the CE marking, which will enable its exoskeletons to be sold within the European Economic Area (the 28 EU member states plus several other countries including Turkey), said Khromysheva.
“We’re also preparing to enter the Middle East: specifically the Arab Emirates. We’re already in talks there,” she told Sk.ru.