It’s not just cars in Geneva...

Someone forgot to tell Hyundai that the Geneva Motor Show is for, well, showing cars. The Korean carmaker might well have a few new additions to its four-wheeled line-up (there's the i30 Tourer, for starters), but the engineering giant has also opted to showcase something completely different.

As part of a plan to move into other markets, Hyundai has developed wearable powered robots that it claims will revolutionize the future of personal mobility. The firm’s advanced assistive medical, work and daily life exoskeletons demonstrate its ambition to provide customers with personal mobility solutions and freedom beyond the car.

The H-MEX (Hyundai Medical EXoskeleton), to give it its full name, has been designed to help patients with lower spinal cord injuries regain the ability to walk. The clever kit gives paraplegics the ability to sit, stand, move, turn, and even walk up or down stairs.

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Hyundai has also developed technology to assist people with limited physical strength. The HUMA (Hyundai Universal Medical Assist) exoskeleton provides “assistive torque” to help those with limited mobility to easily move their bodies. By adjusting the torque according to each form of movement, such as walking, running, or going up and down stairs, Hyundai boasts that HUMA assists users to move easily. It can support up to 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of a wearer’s weight and, unloaded, can run at a speed up to 7 miles per hour (11 kilometers per hour). The carmaker has cited load-carrying duties that would prove a perfect fit for the technology’s abilities.

Hyundai wearable robot
Hyundai wearable robot

Power for these futuristic extensions to the human skeleton comes from removable and rechargeable battery packs, and their lightweight frames are adjustable in length to fit different sizes of user. The user’s lower back and knees are supported with harness fixture points, while the devices change shape and flex around the artificial joint structures of the robotic frame to manage body posture and ensure that walking can be undertaken without hampering the user.

Sadly there’s no word on price or availability of these clever pieces of kit, or whether you’ll ever be able to try them out at your local Hyundai car dealership.

Source: Hyundai

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Hyundai wearable robot tech

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Hyundai Motor will showcase new wearable powered robots that will revolutionize the future of personal mobility at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The advanced assistive medical, work and daily life exoskeletons demonstrate Hyundai Motor’s ambition to provide customers with personal mobility solutions and freedom beyond the automobile.

The H-MEX (Hyundai Medical EXoskeleton) helps patients with lower spinal cord injuries regain the ability to walk. By utilizing a wireless clutch with on-board motion control system, the equipment gives paraplegics the ability to sit, stand, move, turn and even walk up or down stairs.

The HUMA (Hyundai Universal Medical Assist) exoskeleton operates on a different control principle, but it provides assisted mobility support for people with limited muscular power. It provides assistive torque to help those with limited mobility to easily move their bodies. By adjusting assistive torque according to each form of movement, such as walking, running, or going up and down stairs, HUMA assists users to move effortlessly. It can support up to 40kg of a wearer’s weight and, unloaded, can run at a speed up to 12km/h – capabilities that would benefit for military/industrial purposes such as load-carrying. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Waist EXoskeleton, known as H-WEX, provides upper-body and hip support to prevent back injuries for workers doing repetitive manual work or lifting heavy objects.

H-MEX and HUMA are powered by removable and rechargeable battery packs and their light-weight frames are adjustable in length to fit different sizes of user for ultimate comfort. The lower back and knees are supported with harness fixture points, while the devices change shape and flexes around the artificial joint structures of the robotic frame to manage body posture and deliver gait efficiency for walking.

In this vein, H-MEX provides individually-tailored gait pattern adjustment by calculating a series of factors, including walking pace, length of stride, and torso tilting angle via an application program installed in a smart device. Moreover, HUMA uses a series of advanced joints and mechanisms to align its movement with that of the user, enabling agile motion.

The H-WEX takes similar form but instead provides a safety solution for the workplace, assisting users with heavy lifting and other strenuous or repetitive activities. Activating the Waist Assist function enables the exoskeleton to flex its joints at up to 180 degrees per second, with an operating algorithm built-in to ensure ultimate user safety. As with the other exoskeletons, the frame of the device supports and protects the user’s lower back and upper legs for optimal body positioning and is light-weight to ensure portability and ease of use.