Samsung is venturing into the field of robotics and more particularly in support of the elderly. The objective of the EX1 robot, developed in partnership with Sahmyook University, is to improve the mobility and balance of seniors. Loss of muscle mass and decline in walking function are common problems with age, and they are the focus of this project.
Robots serving an aging population
The EX1 stands out for its practical application: a hip-worn device, specifically designed to strengthen balance and movement. Professor Wan-hee Lee, lead researcher of the project, highlights the robot’s effectiveness: “ Using the EX1 wearable robot, elderly people can effectively perform simple exercises such as walking and fitness, thereby improving their quality of life ».
The study conducted by Professor Lee’s team confirmed significant improvements among EX1 users. The participants, aged 65 and over, completed a four-week exercise program using the robot for 50 minutes per session, three times per week. The results are encouraging: increase in stride length by 12% and propulsion by 21%, improvement in dynamic balance and range of motion.
These advances are not limited to walking. The TUG (“timed up and go”) test revealed a reduction of more than 6% in completion time, a sign of better dynamic balance and greater range of movement. Additionally, a 1.7% reduction in waist-to-hip ratio was observed after the exercise period, indicating a potential improvement in overall health.
Wan-hee Lee concludes optimistically: “ Our results provide a solid foundation for the development of various types of improved and advanced wearable robots. This will help expand the global wearable robot market, fostering more research and commercialization “. The promise of the EX1, beyond its innovative technology, lies in its potential to give elderly people back some of their autonomy and vitality.
Although the commercial launch of the EX1 by Samsung is not yet confirmed, the results of this study suggest the increased presence of assistance robots in the coming years. The EX1 illustrates the importance of integrating technology in healthcare, particularly to support an aging population…and also in terms of the market. The older the population gets, the more it will need these robotic helping hands.
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