The story of Roam Robotics
The Founding of Roam
Before starting Roam in 2013, Tim Swift worked on cutting-edge exoskeleton technology—first at UC Berkeley and then as part of the core team that built Ekso, a rigid exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk again. While those early successes convinced Swift of exoskeletons vast potential, they also left him increasingly skeptical that the traditional methods of designing the technology would result in something that makes good on the dream—a lightweight, low cost device that can be integrated into everyday life.
What if exoskeleton makers could do away with all the pricey, precision-engineered metal gears and motors? While he was at Otherlab, Swift began sketching out a system based around high-strength fabrics and powered by compressed air, which he calculated could lower the weight and radically slash costs.
It was a radical break from earlier designs—and one that Swift’s fellow exoskeleton experts told him was an impossible fantasy.
Six years later, Roam Robotics is a thriving start-up with the first version of its path-breaking product—built to help recreational skiers with aging legs—now on the market. At the same time, the company is adapting its core technology to serve other recreational, military and medical uses.
Roam’s proprietary technology now exceeds even its founders' initial projections. The system harnesses established manufacturing techniques for molding its plastics and sewing its fabrics, and it uses a custom air compressor for power. The result: a low device weight and an unmatched power-to-weight ratio.
Despite Roam’s initial success, Swift's original goal remains a long way off. Proving the technology has practical uses on the ski slopes and the battlefield are just the first steps towards his vision of making exoskeletons a popular consumer product.
Ultimately, Roam will succeed when we provide solutions that millions of people integrate into their daily lives in order to stay physically active. The potential uses are endless: whether you are a skier or a hiker, a soldier or a gardener, Roam’s mission is help you push past your current boundaries’ and extend your ability to do the activities you love.
The leadership team
Founder & CEO
Dr. Swift holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley where he developed the technical foundations for many of the commercial exoskeletons used today. He was an early employee at Ekso Bionics and was one of the original 3-person team that invented Ekso, their lower extremity rigid exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation and paraplegic mobility.
In 2013, Swift joined Otherlab to help develop a new type of robotic platform that would greatly reduce weight and cost without sacrificing capabilities. It was this effort to make robots which are accessible and practical enough for everyday life that led to the founding of Roam.
Chief Operating Officer
Nikhil has an MS from the University of Massachusetts, and an MBA from Duke University. Nikhil has over the last 10 years served as an executive in large multi-national corporations with responsibilities for Corporate and Business Development, M&A, Strategic Marketing, and P&L management. He has completed 2.5B USD in M&A transactions, launched 16 products, and has led transformative change initiatives driving growth and profitability.
In 2016, after serving 18 years in the Medtech industry with pioneering companies such as Novoste, Boston Scientific, Acelity, and Getinge, Nikhil joined Roam to lead the commercial effort to market Roam’s core technology.
Vice President, Technology
Kevin has a MS from Oregon State University where he began his exploration into robotics by researching and developing running robots. Kevin was the lead robotics engineer at Meka Robotics where he gained extensive experience developing advanced high-performance modular control architectures for many robots ranging from novel hands and arms to full running and walking systems.
In 2014, Meka was acquired by Google where Kevin lead a group of electrical engineers to develop a low-cost robotic arm. After working on autonomous systems, Kevin left Google with a desire to help Tim at Roam develop the core technology to enable humans to achieve more.