A San Francisco–based startup called Roam has developed a breakthrough device that pairs clever mechanics with artificial intelligence to give your lower body a boost when you need it most.
A San Francisco–based startup called Roam has developed a breakthrough device that pairs clever mechanics with artificial intelligence to give your lower body a boost when you need it most. (Courtesy Roam)
Adventures in Audio

The Pure Joy of Bionic Skiing

A San Francisco–based startup called Roam has developed a breakthrough device that pairs clever mechanics with artificial intelligence to give your lower body a boost when you need it most.

It sounds like something out of a James Bond film: a robotic exoskeleton that helps you ski better. But the real thing exists. A San Francisco–based startup called Roam has developed a breakthrough device that pairs clever mechanics with artificial intelligence to give your lower body a boost when you need it most. For able-bodied skiers, it’s a performance-enhancement tool that will let you ignore your creaky knees. And for athletes who’ve suffered debilitating injuries, it’s a chance to once again experience the kind of unadulterated joy that comes from linking turns down a mountainside. Outside contributing editor Nick Heil guides us through this report on the technology-assisted future of sports.


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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.