ESA BIC Bavaria incubatee Elysium Industries is creating special textiles (exosuits) that are inspired by an understanding of human biomechanics and anatomy. Elysium’s wearable garments provide means to transmit assistive torques to a wearer’s joints without the use of rigid external structures. These exosuits are securely and comfortably attached to the body and transmit forces to the body in advantageous ways, so that biologically appropriate torques are created at the joints. People with restricted mobility thus have the possibility to train, improve and reactivate movements. In addition, the exosuits can be designed to be passive (without active force) through natural movements to support certain tasks. They feel like normal trousers when worn and do not restrict in any way.
Regine Heue, Head of Marketing & Communications at AZO, interviews Mr Ralph Hohenwarter, CEO of Elysium Industries:
RH: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
RaHo: We offer a new kind of exoskeleton that trains, improves and reactivates human movement. The unique carbon fibre material and weave design combination allows a broad spectrum of applications in the areas of
- Advanced sport and training devices
- Cutting-edge MedTech devices for rehabilitation and disabilities
The novel exoskeleton follows the rules of simplification and utilises the individual physical capabilities of the user, such as muscles and joints.
Our current team consists of 3 experts from different areas with different strengths and we put all our power and enthusiasm into this idea and its realisation: Ralph is the engineer, Julian the marketer and Heiko is backing the scientific proceedings.
RH: What has been your company’s biggest challenge so far?
RaHo: The biggest challenge for this innovation so far is to find supporters and investors as well as to receive attention. But we did not let ourselves be tempted by distractions or be driven by achievements! Being an innovative company, we are convinced that we will be successful with such innovative products. We faced some challenges with material behaviour while testing the sports device in ski races. But, in the end, we managed to handle the high strains on our device in extreme sports applications.
RH: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
RaHo: For our success, we identified 3 main issues:
Our most important ingredients are the novel intelligent carbon fibre materials and applications we are using.
Second, we are a hard-working team with all the passion to achieve something big! We have all already gained great experience, which we are able to use in this project.
Making people curious about our project while addressing the need for human enhancement technologies such as in the field of sports and rehabilitation through our exoskeleton.
RH: What do you expect from ESA BIC Bavaria and how do you think the initiative and its network will help you to kick-start your business case?
RaHo: The ESA BIC Bavaria has been a proven reference for successful and innovative startup foundations for many years. Moreover, its positive work has attracted a lot of attention in Bavaria, Germany and Europe. We are proud to be part of this incubation network, and hope to find supporters, investors and attention within this ESA BIC business ecosystem.
RH: What do you think to benefit from the DLR support?
RaHo: Especially when it comes to the technical development of our products, we are dependent on experts from different fields. The cooperation with DLR and the expertise available make us faster and better. Especially in the field of robotics, we really benefit from DLR’s knowledge base.
RH: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in Elysium’s future?
RaHo: We can hardly wait to launch our first product on the sports and rehabilitation market, to continuously improve it for our customers, and to let the product family grow. We want to revolutionise the market with real innovations and would like to have a first footprint in China. However, feedback from wheelchair users who tested our products motivated us to develop this exoskeleton, which supports them in being able to walk again!