Ekso Bionics has been showing its powered exoskeletion (formerly called "eLEGS") for people normally bound to wheelchairs for a little while now, but at the TED MED 2011 conference this past October, the company gave not just a demo but also some details on the roadmap. The Ekso currently is designed and set up for rehabilitation purposes and is heading to limited trials in rehab centers across the US and Europe, but Ekso Bionics has a roadmap to bring the device to a wider market in the coming years.
Right now, the Ekso requires a second person to control the device, which uses 4 electric motors, an onboard computer, and 15 sensors to drive the exoskeleton via a remote control, but the plan is to allow the user to do that directly via controls attached to two crutches within the next six months. It's very expensive now, but long-term Ekso Bionics hopes to bring the price down to the $30 to $50 thousand dollar range by 2014.
Ekso Bionics is collaborating with rehabilitation centers to help design the device, as well as teaming up with the design company IDEO to understand various uses cases. Check out the TED presentation video below.