Ottobock, Duderstadt, Germany, announced the acquisition of suitX, Berkeley, California, which specializes in the research and development of occupational and medical exoskeletons. Ottobock and suitX are combining their expertise and products to foster the worldwide adoption of exoskeletons.
suitX founder and former CEO Homayoon Kazerooni, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where the company was developed, will remain with the company in the role of chief scientist. suitX will become part of Ottobock Bionic Exoskeletons (formerly Ottobock Industrials), the company’s division for the development of occupational exoskeletons. The management of Ottobock´s global bionic exoskeletons business which runs under the brand name Paexo will continue to be handled from Germany.
“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,” said Philipp Schulte-Noelle, CEO of Ottobock.
The companies’ products are complementary and offer exoskeletons that relieve strain on the body during overhead work and jobs involving lifting. Ottobock’s product range includes solutions that support the wrist, thumb, and neck. suitX develops and manufactures occupational, healthcare, and recreational exoskeleton systems. The suitX portfolio of occupational exoskeletons includes back, leg, and shoulder modules that reduce the risk of injuries among workers. Each module can be worn individually or in combinations suitable for various industrial work settings.
It is expected that the market for exoskeletons in the professional environment will multiply to several hundred million dollars by 2025.