The global exoskeleton market was valued at US$ 87.9 Mn in 2016 and is expected to increase to US$ 2,288.3 million by 2025, registering a CAGR of 44.16% over the forecast period. Increasing demand for exoskeleton in the military and healthcare sectors for rehabilitation as well as increasing investment in the development of exoskeleton technology is boosting growth of the exoskeleton market.
Exoskeleton Market Key Driving Factor
Increasing demand form military sector is key factor driving growth of the market. This is majorly attributed to the ability to assist in carrying more armor and enabling fast body movement, through exoskeleton. Exoskeletons can reduce the metabolic cost of the load and helps soldiers cover more ground and additional armor, independently. This in turn, is increasing the demand for exoskeleton in the military sector thus boosting market growth. Lockheed Martin is developing military applications focused on soldier load carriage and sustainment applications. In 2010, two major exoskeleton projects for the military were launched: the Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) by Ekso Bionics and Lockheed Martin and the XOS and XOS2 by Sarcos/Raytheon. Both were full body suits for solider mobility augmentation.
Exoskeleton Market, by Product Type
Among product type, the powered exoskeleton segment is expected witness rapid growth, over the forecast period. This growth is attributed to increasing demand for powered exoskeletons in the healthcare sector, to assist people suffering from disabilities. According to Ekso Bionics, a California-based bioengineering company, more than 150 Hybrid Assisted Limb (HAL) exoskeletons are in place at hospitals and assisted-living facilities in Japan. Powered exoskeletons are more energy efficient than passive exoskeletons, due to which the demand for powered exoskeletons is expected to grow.
Exoskeleton Market, by Vertical
Among verticals, the healthcare segment accounted for the largest market share in the exoskeleton market in 2016. The segment was valued at around US$ 47.6 million in 2016. The military segment is expected to witness highest growth, exhibiting a CAGR of 44.40% during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the ability of exoskeletons to assist soldiers on the battlefield to lift heavy weapons and move faster, covering a larger area on the battlefield.
Exoskeleton Market Restraint
However, high cost of exoskeleton is expected to hinder growth of the global exoskeleton market during the forecast period. Powered exoskeletons are relatively more expensive than passive ones. The unit price of powered exoskeletons range from US$ 70,000 to US$ 120,000, excluding the service and maintenance costs. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for significant cost reduction, in order to enable personal usage of exoskeletons for rehabilitation application.
Source: Coherent Market Insights Analysis, 2017
North America accounted for the largest market share in 2016
Among geography, the market in North America held a dominant position in 2016 and is expected to retain its dominance over the forecast period. The exoskeleton market in this region is projected to reach US$ 999.3 million by 2025. The growth is attributed to increasing adoption of exoskeletons in various sectors such as healthcare, rehabilitation centers, military, and industrial processes in the U.S. For instance, in 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a device called ReWalk, the first exoskeleton commercially available in the U.S., around 66 people purchased the ReWalk at US$ 77,000 in 2015. Moreover, growth of the market is attributed to increasing investments in R&D activities by several market players, including Ekso Bionics and ReWalk Robotics Ltd., in turn, influencing the rapid development of new products and product models in the region.
Major players operating in the global exoskeleton market include Ekso Bionics, ActiveLink (Panasonic Corporation), Cyberdyne, Inc., ReWalk Robotics Ltd, Rex Bionics Plc., Lockheed Martin Corporation, Suit X (U.S. Bionics, Inc.), RB3D, Hocoma, DIH Technologies, Focal Meditech, and Ottobock.
Exoskeleton is an autonomous robot. Exoskeletons are wearable autonomous robots that are utilized as rehabilitation devices. Exoskeleton is responsible for enhancing, and improving human performance. Exoskeletons are made of rigid materials, including metal, carbon fiber or elastic parts. Exoskeleton devices can be placed on the upper, lower body or entire body, even on certain body parts such as knees and ankles.
Increasing demand for exoskeletons in the healthcare sector for rehabilitation is one of the major factors expected to drive growth of the global exoskeleton market during the forecast period. For instance, according to ReWalk Robotics Ltd., in 2016, the company’s sale for exoskeleton was totaled over 250 units, of which over 150 units were used in rehabilitation centers. This factor is expected to boost global market growth. Additionally, increased investment from government in various sector including healthcare and defense & military application is another major factor driving global market growth. For instance, according to The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA has invested 50 million for a project called “Exoskeletons for Human Performance Augmentation” in 2010. Moreover, In 2015, the Technical Research and Development Institute, which is the defense research wing of the Japanese military, moved to invest $7.5 million into developing “highly mobile powered suits.”
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