This year, Bender’s company unveiled an electronic exoskeleton that could help paraplegics walk for the first time. But he and his team discovered that their radical new product–”so new, so different than anything out there,” Bender says–wouldn’t necessarily catch on with its original marketing description.
Eckso had to find a way to help users warm to the technology and see it as a natural extension of their bodies. “At the start we were calling it an exoskeleton,” says Bender. “But then we shifted over to wearable robots. And nowadays we refer to it as a bionic suit.”
From now on, Bender says, bionic suits are what Eckso sells. Next year, it aims to enter the market with a new product to help stroke victims; and in 2014 it will unveil a bionic suit that anyone can use to enhance strength or stamina.