How Much Does an Exoskeleton Cost?

An exoskeleton is a wearable machine powered by levers, motors, hydraulics, batteries and other mechanical technologies that enable limb movement with increased endurance and strength.

Exoskeleton Cost by Type

Here’s how much the most popular exoskeletons cost:

TypeCostNotes
Indego$80,000
Ekso$100,000+clinics only
Hal 5$20,000qualifying patients only
Honda Walking Assist$375 monthlybulk sale only - supports upper legs only
SuitX Phoenix$40,000test pilots only
ReWalk$77,000

ExoskeletonThese robotic suits are most commonly used as a walking/mobility assistance device by the military, physical therapists helping patients with rehabilitation and those with disabilities – usually paraplegics (paralyzed from the waist down) who have only partial or no use of their legs or lower body.

Full body exoskeletons are typically used by the military and referred to as ‘powered armor’. Lower body exoskeletons are usually used by patients in medical field or by rescue workers such as firefighters.

The amount of robotic assistance adjusts automatically for users who have some muscle control in their legs. This allows them to use their own muscles while walking. When a user is totally paralyzed, the device does all the work. The other designs provide full power all of the time.

Of those listed in the table above, ReWalk and Indego are available for purchase by consumers directly. Ekso’s devices are priced at $100,000+ and are not yet available to be purchased by consumers, but patients can access them via medical legal cases, charities and clinics.

Rewalk Robotics Ltd. was the first company to have their device receive FDA certification in the US. Indego was the second exoskeleton to be approved. Indego has also received the CE Mark (the European Union’s equivalent of FDA certification).

Example Device Details

The Phoenix exoskeleton weighs 27 pounds, has a max speed of 1.1 miles per hour and costs $40,000. It may be able to assist everyone from kids to disabled vets to ditch their wheelchairs and walk on their own two feet again. The battery lasts for 4 hours of continuous use. A companion Android app can be used by the patient’s physical therapist to tweak parameters and help the patient control the suit.

Other Exoskeleton Companies

  • Raytheon‚Äôs XOS 2 (military)
  • Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) (military)
  • Lockheed Martin’s FORTIS exoskeleton (military)
  • CAP exoskeleton
  • Project MARCH
  • Rex

Insurance Coverage

Insurance may cover some of the cost of an exoskeleton.

Many of the devices listed above are still undergoing significant research and development, but the next step for many of the companies is to get their devices approved for reimbursement through health insurance. To do this, they must get the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to approve a rate code for a new category: exoskeletons. A rate code is a numerical identifier that lists the characteristics of patients who would qualify to be reimbursed by Medicaid or Medicare for purchasing a particular medical device.

For many approved medical devices, the government will reimburse up to 80% of the cost and in most cases, private health insurance companies follow the government’s lead and adopt the rate code.

ReWalk Exoskeleton

Video of Rewalk Exoskeleton in Daily Use

References

Over to You

We’re interested to know – do you own an exoskeleton? Know someone who does? Let us what type it was and how much it cost by leaving a comment below!

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