WearRAcon18 speaker - Wearable Robotics Greater Phoenix

Wearable robotics are changing the world, one exoskeleton at a time

Published: 03/29/2018
Updated: 04/20/2022

Global companies show off inventions at WearRAcon18 in Greater Phoenix

We all know someone with a bad back, stiff hips, sore arms or injured knees. But what if instead of medications or surgeries, robotics could help with mobility to not only relieve these pains, but maybe even prevent them?

According to Tom Sugar, an engineer and professor at Arizona State University, wearable robotic exoskeletons can help people lead normal lives with overcoming disabilities or performing jobs efficiently.

Imagine being a surgeon standing over a patient for eight hours or being a package handler lifting heavy objects in a constant motion. These types of jobs require repetitive movements like bending and squatting, which can cause injuries in the long run.

Sugar and his Wearable Robotics Association team met with entrepreneurs and business leaders at the third annual wearable robotics conference, WearRAcon18, to help push this technology forward. WearRAcon18, held in Scottsdale, AZ, was an event dedicated to the wearable robotics industry.

“I see wearable robotics growing exponentially in the next 3-4 years,” said Sugar. “We see Phoenix being a leader in this area by hosting Wearable Robotics Association, and also hosting companies that can build and make devices to improve quality of life and quality of work.”

Representatives from Laevo, SpringActive, Ekso Bionics, and Noonee prepare for a presentation at WearRAcon18.

Entrepreneurs in Greater Phoenix, who developed companies like Go X Studio, Kinetic Edge and SpringActive, showed off their latest inventions, geared towards enhancing individual mobility for anyone, anywhere. They also provided hands-on demos to global entrepreneurs, developers and business leaders.

Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Research, Stephane Frijia, and City of Phoenix’s Economic Development Program Manager, Shannon Selby, presented the value of establishing a wearables company in Greater Phoenix to an audience full of international technology companies.

“Greater Phoenix offers opportunities to partner with industry, government and consumers,” said Stephane Frijia. “Which means your company can go to scale and be successful, efficient and competitive. This is what our region is all about.”

Frijia and Selby’s presentation further discussed the valuable assets Greater Phoenix offers such as labor availability, university alignment, supply chain, livability and competitive operating costs. With the Phoenix Biomedical Campus expansion, those looking to expand and develop can find a mix of talented doctors, researchers, innovators, educators and health professionals all under one roof. This campus has become a premier and dynamic location for biomedical activities.

Wearable robotics is becoming a life-changing technology and Greater Phoenix has a bright future ahead of it. Because of its robust supply chain and workforce, our region is well positioned to support both legacy wearable companies and emerging disruptors.

Check out the Facebook Live Q&A with Tom Sugar.


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