“Feels like you are the ‘Terminator’ on the slopes”
I think Roam Robitics just gave us a glimpse into the future of skiing. Their new ROBOTIC SKI EXOSKELETON isn’t quite ready for market but they are accepting $99 reservations so you can be first in line when they are released in 2019 TESLA style. Here’s how they describe the product:
“Push Beyond Your Limits. Go Stronger, Longer, and Safer.
Experience the first of its kind robotic powered exoskeleton to superpower your knees during alpine skiing and snowboarding. The sensors and the software on the exoskeleton senses user intent and automatically adjusts torque at the knee via air actuators effectively mimicking the quadricep muscles. The device is fully programmable and automated but with manual overrides thus always keeping user in control.
Extend your ski day, access longer challenging terrain, make stronger turns, or simply enjoy the sport without the pain. All the while keeping your knees safer.”
There is an excellent article by Daniel Terdiman on Fastcompany.com where he visits Roam’s HQ and tests the prototypes on their office skiing treadmill. Roam plans on focusing on the rental market to start and sees skiing as a “the perfect use case given that its exoskeletons deliver power to the legs, fit well with an active lifestyle, and represent a large potential market.”
HERE ARE THE DETAILS:
Device Operation: Simply strap on and select torque level and mode. Fully automated with manual overrides. On board sensors and software sense skier intent and automatically adjust torque at the knee via an air bladder.
Product Contents: Power Pack – belt mounted or backpack, Two Leg Exoskeletons, Andriod/IOS APP – controls torque level, selects mode (autonomous or manual), & displays performance metrics.
Release Date: Jan 2019.
Ships: To U.S. destinations only. If outside U.S. please email reservations001[at]roamrobotics for more information.
Pricing: Pricing TBD. Estimated Retail Pricing at $2000 to $2500.
Here’s a bit about the prototyping which I always find fascinating:
DEVELOPMENT TIME LINE
2015 – 2016 Original technology developed through grants from the SBIR program to keep soldiers safe and help people with impaired mobility maintain a fulfilling life.
April 2017 ROAM raises venture financing round to commercialize core intellectual property.
May 2017 Working SKI | Snowboard exoskeleton prototypes built and tested in Tahoe, CA.
June to Nov 2017 30+ Users tested on an indoor ski slope in San Francisco, CA.
Nov 2017 Prototype refined using user feedback.
Dec 2017 15+ Users tested on snow in Tahoe, CA, and in Gala resort Japan.
Q1 2018 100+ Test users scheduled. Email us skipilot[at]roamrobotics to be considered as test pilot.
Dec 2018 – Jan 2019 First commercial devices available for rent and sale.
If you’re ready to go whole hog and plunk down the $99 for A reservation read this first:
Please note following before making your reservation:
1) The reservation payment is fully refundable if you cancel your reservation. Reservation payment is not the price of the product but just holds your place in line and can be netted against final price.
2) We do not have all the final specifications to share today but rest assured we are designing for all user levels.
3) Yes you can schedule a trial before purchase. Commercial product trials available Dec 2018 in select U.S. ski destinations. Email us skitrial[at]roamrobotics if you wish to trial before purchase.
4) Pricing is yet to be determined. Estimated Retail Pricing at $2000 to $2500.
5) Contact at reservations001[at]roamrobotics for questions.
7) Yes in addition you can tack on any other ROAM discounts.
6) Reservations valid only for U.S. based users. If outside U.S. please email for more information.
The Fine Print
We are finalizing designs and we have been reducing many of the risks typical to a hardware startup. However, as with any new startup, it is possible for unexpected events to impact the actual production timeline and we cannot rule out the possibility of a delay. On the bright side, it is possible that we may deliver earlier than expected.
Also rest assured if the schedule is delayed more than 3 months we will 100% refund your reservation fees.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, in no event will ROAM, its directors, employees, partners, suppliers, or content providers be liable for any indirect, incidental, punitive, consequential, special, or exemplary damages of any kind, including but not limited to damages (i) resulting from your access to, use of, or inability to access or use the reservation; (ii) for any lost profits, data loss, or cost of procurement or substitute goods or services. In no event shall ROAM’s liability for direct damages be in excess of (in the aggregate) one hundred U.S. dollars ($100.00).