News Release

Strategic Partnership with Exoskeleton Start-up ARGO Medical Technologies, Ltd.

NewsSep 25, 2013

 In an effort to accelerate the development of its service robotics business in the Robotics Human Assist field, (as stated in the company’s “Vision 2015”), YASKAWA Electric Corporation (Representative Director, Chairman and President, Junji Tsuda) has signed agreements concerning the formation of a strategic alliance accompanied by capital investment with ARGO Medical Technologies, Ltd., an international leader in exoskeleton technology.

1.ARGO and the “ReWalk” Exoskeleton

 ARGO is an international leader in exoskeleton technology that develops, manufactures and sells the “ReWalk” exoskeleton device for individuals with lower limb disabilities like paraplegia, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Using the device users are able to walk even if their lower body is completely paralyzed.
The ReWalk exoskeleton suit uses a patented technology with motorized legs that power knee and hip movement. The ReWalk controls movement using subtle changes in center of gravity, mimics natural gait and provides functional walking speed.
ARGO currently offers two ReWalk models – the ReWalk Personal, currently available in Europe and pending FDA review in the US; and the ReWalk Rehabilitation which is now available in Europe, Israel and the United States.
Potential benefits from ReWalking could include decreased body fat percentage, improvements in cardiorespiratory function, improved bowel and bladder function, improved sitting position, decreased pain and decreased spasticity.

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2.Goal of Strategic Alliance

True to its goal to pursue open innovation, Yaskawa is currently collaborating with academic and medical institutions in order to commercialize products in the field of healthcare and rehabilitation. The partnership with ARGO and the addition of the ReWalk to its portfolio in Asia will allow Yaskawa to offer a more complete product line-up, as well as establish a strong sales network for advanced healthcare and welfare devices in Japan and the rest of Asia.
Furthermore both companies will work together towards improving the current product and collaborating on the development on future products. As Yaskawa’s own research and development projects mature into the commercialization stages, distribution by ARGO in Europe and North America is planned as well.

 

* Yaskawa will gain the exclusive right to distribute the ReWalk in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand as part of the alliance agreement.
* Yaskawa will offer the ReWalk to institutions for preliminary testing and pilot programs in 2014, with retail sales scheduled to commence from 2015.

3.Argo Medical Technologies, Ltd.

Location: Malborough, US; Berlin, Germany; Yokneam Illit, Israel
Founded: 2001
Trading Area: Europe, North America, Israel
Business: Develop, manufacture and sales of exoskeleton device.
URL: http://rewalk.com/
ARGO press release: http://rewalk.com/news/press-release/

 

Contact:
Corporate Communication Group
YASKAWA Electric Corporation
E-mail: web_mstr@yaskawa.co.jp

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