Research and development

Innovation for more quality of life

How do we exploit the technology that is at our disposal to make genuine progress? To make something that helps people retain or regain their mobility? This is what has been driving our research and development – for more than 100 years.

Mobility means quality of life

Medical technology in tune with the times

Since 1919 Ottobock has been developing wearable technology inspired by the human body. In doing so, we not only want to meet standards in orthopaedic technology, we want to think ahead. Data-based development and artificial intelligence (AI) make movements with prostheses more natural and safer. Together with research partners around the world, we are developing new fields such as neuro-rehabilitation and quantum sensor technology.

A pioneering spirit to become the leading innovator

In 1997, Ottobock presented the first microprocessor-controlled lower limb prosthesis C-Leg. To this day it remains the worldwide technological standard. By means of a self-learning system, our bebionic prosthetic hand revolutionised life after an amputation. And the Genium X3 joint makes swimming, cycling and jogging possible. Ottobock owns 1886 patents in 540 patent families for prostheses, exoskeletons, orthoses and wheelchairs – innovations that directly benefit people with handicap.

Signals from the muscles control the hand.

Combination of body and technology

Basic research and precise knowledge of biological mechanisms enable the development of new concepts: Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), for example, makes it possible to control upper limb prostheses with muscle signals.

Helping people to remain mobile for a long time

Ottobock doesn’t just help people regain their mobility, we help them to remain healthy for as long as possible. Exoskeletons such as the Paexo take the strain off strenuous activities. The C-Brace® orthosis uses a microprocessor to help people walk again when muscles are paralysed.

Innovations that support people

Woman wearing a Paexo exoskeleton from Ottobock and working on a car jacked up in a workshop.

Overhead work with the Paexo Shoulder

The exoskeleton assists employees in production during strenuous activities, particularly overhead work. The weight of the raised arms is transferred to the hips with the help of mechanical cable pull technology. This provides noticeable relief for the muscles and joints in the shoulder region. The Paexo Shoulder does not need an energy supply. This makes it the lightest exoskeleton of its kind at just 1.9 kilograms.
More information on Paexo
A man wearing a C-Brace sitting beside a river and smiling into the camera.

David running with the C-Brace®

Around 100 times per second, sensors in the knee joint of the C-Brace® analyse how David moves his left leg. This information is then sent to microprocessors in the orthosis. Based on this data, the processors support David as he walks. Thanks to his C-Brace® , David can even go hiking in the mountains again.
Close-up of hands working on a car with the Paexo Thumb.

Paexo Thumb for healthy thumbs

This small and extremely lightweight exoskeleton relieves the thumb by up to 70 per cent during assembly tasks such as clipping, connecting and plugging – by redirecting forces to the entire hand. It takes strain off the interphalangeal and saddle joints of the thumb and protects the tip of the thumb against mechanical impact.
More information on Paexo
Our products are subjected to inspections with highest quality standards.

Clinical studies

How much more mobile does a person become thanks to their new prosthesis? How much is the danger of falling reduced? In figures, how much is quality of life improved? Ottobock makes progress measurable: our research examines products, treatment methods and rehabilitation successes. This serves to provide safety, trust and reimbursement by health insurance companies.

Networking knowledge, learning together

"Outside-in" means developing groundbreaking technologies – and being open to knowledge outside the company. Our researchers collaborate with bright minds, universities and institutions from all over the world, for example:

  • In purchasing the company BionX Ottobock and founder Hugh Herr are researching the development of intuitively controlled leg prosthesis. Herr is the head of the “Center for Extreme Bionics” at MIT in Boston.
  • For the research project INOPRO of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research Ottobock is working on intelligent orthotics and prosthetics for improved human-technology interaction.

Contact for research and development

Maja Hoock

PR Manager

+49 151 188 835 07

Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA
Prenzlauer Allee 242
10405 Berlin