what about patents?

Overview of Foreign Achievements

According to the Central Research Institute of Cybernetics and Robotics (St. Petersburg), dozens of scientific organizations and industrial enterprises in a number of countries around the world are engaged in the production of industrial exoskeletons, including the USA, Japan, Israel, Germany, China, France, New Zealand, Norway, Great Britain, South Korea, Italy and Russia. An analysis of global experience allows us to conclude that at present there are three key areas of application of exoskeleton modules and systems based on them:

• military exoskeletons;

• rehabilitation exoskeletons and exoskeletons to compensate for the lack of mobility of persons with disabilities;

• exoskeletons for industrial use.

The main manufacturers of industrial exoskeletons today are Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (South Korea), Hyundai Motor Company (South Korea), Sarcos/Raytheon (USA), Lockheed Martin (USA), US Bionicks (USA), Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (USA), Panasonic-Activelink (Japan), Honda (Japan), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan), Gobio Robot (France), Laevo (New Zealand), Noonee AG (Switzerland) and Rotbot Systems (Israel).

The latest trend is to fuse an exoskeleton with artificial intelligence. So, South Korean and American scientists decided to fix this. They presented a new, non-experimental method for developing exoskeletons. The researchers focused on improving the autonomy of the devices using artificial intelligence. The machine learning algorithm is already built into the physical device – the exoskeleton learns in advance to help people walk and run in a computer simulation, bypassing the stage of testing with a person. Researchers tested an exoskeleton with artificial intelligence in real life. It turned out that when walking, people in the exoskeleton spent 24.3% less metabolic energy than without it. When running with the device, participants spent 13.1% less energy, and when climbing stairs – 15.4%.

In Russia

As is known, robotization, along with informatization, is the main trend of the last decade in industry in general, and in mining production in particular. Smart digitalized mines, unmanned ore trucks, smart miners' helmets, miners' safety bracelets – these are already proven and profitable achievements of modern science and technology.

In Russia, exoskeletons are being tested at the Norilsk Nickel Mining and Metallurgical Plant, and are of interest to Rosatom's mining division, JSC Atomredmetzoloto, and a number of vertically integrated ferrous metallurgy holdings, such as PAO Severstal. Sberbank has serious plans for exoskeletons. Russian Railways is also making plans for exoskeletons for its employees, in particular, at the end of June 2024, a frame exoskeleton for repair workers forced to carry heavy metal parts of railway equipment was demonstrated in Novosibirsk during the international transport forum. Exoskeletons for doctors are mass-produced by Exoatlet LLC.

Standardization is developing. Thus, in 2023, the first national standard for exoskeletons was developed — GOST R 12.4.306-2023 “Personal protective equipment for the musculoskeletal system. Industrial exoskeletons. Classification. Terms and definitions.”


The Google patent portal for the word “exoskeleton” has given us 65,541 patent documents as of June 2024. There is no monopolist or group of leaders among the patent holders. TOP-10 rating:

It is clear that 8 out of 10 places in the ranking are occupied by scientific and technical institutions from China (including the first 4 positions!). In fifth place is the American company Ekso Bionics, and the University of California closes our ranking.

The use of the Ekso Vest exoskeleton at the Ford automobile plant

Ford EksoVest

Source: Ekso Bionics

The numbers are a bit strange, but quite explainable. Most likely, some patents of different countries have a military purpose, and therefore are classified (developments of the same Lockheed Martin). Some companies and organizations prefer not to publish developments in this area at all and use the know-how regime (which is also understandable, no one wants to part with their secrets).

Within the framework of the international patent classification, 4 of the top 5 occupy subclasses of section “A” – satisfaction of vital needs:

  • Physiotherapy devices A61H — 53.5%;

  • manipulators; cameras equipped with manipulators B25J — 50.1%;

  • prostheses; devices that allow passage or prevent compression of tubular structures of the body, such as stents; orthopaedic devices A61F — 12.1%;

  • diagnostics; surgery; identification of person A61B — 8.8%;

  • equipment and devices for physical exercise A63B — 6.2%.

As you can see, no combat exoskeletons with artificial intelligence. Purely peaceful devices that help restore functionality after injuries.

In the database FIPS According to the word “exoskeleton”, the abstract lists 90 inventions, 49 of which are operational.

In section “A” vital needs 43 patents, from children to the elderly, for workers and patients with various musculoskeletal disorders, for example for rehabilitation after a stroke. Examples are:

No.2622206 “A method for rehabilitation of patients after a stroke or injury using a robotic complex including a human limb exoskeleton controlled via a brain-computer interface by means of motor imagery” from the Russian National Research Medical University named after N.I. Pirogov. The essence is that the patient is given a task on kinesthetic imagination of limb movement, then the patterns of the patient's brain activity that arise during the imagined movement are analyzed. The data is transmitted to the computer to isolate the signals responsible for motor imagery. After this, the patient is presented with the results of recognition of the task being performed via visual feedback in the form of a mark on the screen.

Ufa University of Science and Technology has patented a soft multi-mode exoskeleton (No.2797688). The exoskeleton contains an internal layer, made with the possibility of adhering to the user's body, presented in the form of a flexible suit, made with the possibility of wearing on a part of the user's body. The exoskeleton has a power layer with elastic elements connected to the flexible suit, on top of which an external protective layer is located.

There are 10 patents for inventions in the section “technological processes”. In the sections “Chemistry and metallurgy”, “Textiles and paper”, “Construction and mining”, “Electricity” zero patents.

In the section “Physics” 3 patents, for example No.2806847 — “A device for monitoring the condition and physical performance of an upper limb exoskeleton user.” The Saint Petersburg Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences proposed a device that consists of a housing made in the form of a rectangular parallelepiped with rounded corners and equipped with a fastener to the user's clothing, inside which are located: a battery power supply unit connected to a socket for recharging from the power supply network, made flush with the surface of the housing, a device health indicator made flush with the surface of the housing, a storage device with non-volatile memory connected to a socket for reading and writing information, made flush with the surface of the housing, a wireless interface unit and a microprocessor.

There are 49 utility models in the FIPS database, of which 23 are in force, mainly for medical purposes. An example for work is model No.202205. This is an exoskeleton for facilitating the movement of a person's load, designed to increase the physical capabilities of a person when carrying it by redirecting a significant portion of the forces from the weight of the load through the frame and articulation of the device onto the supporting surface, bypassing the human musculoskeletal system.

Many patents have ceased to be active but can be restored, for example No.202 647This is a “Device for facilitating the movement of loads” by Exomed LLC (Kursk).

There is one database of exoskeleton user health indicators No.2022622112.

But there are as many as 70 computer programs! And that's right. Thus, the St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics created program No. under a government contract.2013615783 “Human-machine interface for controlling a hand exoskeleton”. The program is designed to control a robotic hand prosthesis using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals.

The Central Research and Development Institute of Robotics and Technical Cybernetics has created program No.2017618698the essence of which is obvious from the name “Program for the operation of an active exoskeleton in three modes: on stairs, marching (for fast walking) and warehouse”.

One of the latest programs No.2024616464 registered in 2024 by JSC Research Institute of Molecular Electronics. The program is intended for use in wearable and stationary myostimulation devices, kinesthesia rehabilitation devices and rehabilitation exoskeletons of the upper limbs. Calculation of adaptive myostimulation of the hand is based on the analysis of the relative positions of the signals of the desired (correct pattern) and the actual (pathological pattern). Due to the rapid development of artificial intelligence and the need to improve rehabilitation techniques with adjustment of stimulation parameters for a specific patient, there is a need for fast, accurate and adaptive algorithms that can identify and assess the degree of damage to the muscular system and form an adaptive effect proportional to the patient's muscular data.


With the growing demand for assistive devices and the increasingly aging population, the global exoskeleton market is set to grow. The exoskeleton market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.4% from 2022 to 2029 to reach $1216 million by 2029.

The exoskeleton market is Business areawhich makes and sells wearable robotic technologies designed to enhance human physical capabilities. Walking, moving heavy objects, and maintaining proper posture are all tasks that these assistive devices can help with.

The market provides active and passive exoskeletons to a wide range of end users, including military personnel, industrial workers, and people with limited mobility.

In terms of patents and engineering, our Chinese comrades can come to the aid of our developers. At least in medical technologies.

Drawing for registration of 5 trademarks.

Useful from Online Patent:

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  2. What benefits can you get from registering a computer program?

  3. How to protect your customer database?

  4. Not just IT specialists: which companies can add their programs to the Register of Domestic Software?

  5. Trademark Guidelines for 2024.

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