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China-made wearable robot to enter market

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-27 16:21

SHANGHAI -- A China-made wearable robot that can assist disabled people with walking is expected to enter the market in one to two years, the developer has said.

The Fourier X1, developed by Chinese technology startup Fourier Intelligence, was unveiled to the public in Shanghai earlier this month.

Gu Jie, CEO of Fourier, said that the Fourier X1 weighed 20 kg and applied industrial design into the exoskeleton. It can assist with walking for people who have had a stroke or spinal cord injuries.

He said that the company aimed to make the robot more affordable than foreign models such as Israel-made ReWalk and Japanese-made Cyberdyne currently on the market.

Prices of the Fourier X1 robots are expected to be a third cheaper than similar foreign models, which are sold between 600,000 yuan ($87,000) and 1 million yuan each.

Gu said the company was working to test and improve the robot's various functions such as sitting, standing, walking and climbing stairs.

Fourier Intelligence was founded in 2015 at Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, and provides products and services with rehabilitation robots.

The Fourier X1 has four motors, two for the hips and two for the knees, as well as four batteries inside that enable it to work for seven hours.

China has 80 million disabled people, many of them unable to walk. The global market for walk-assisting exoskeleton robots is estimated to exceed 1.8 billion dollars by 2020.

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