Fast Company Names Arrow Electronics' SAM Suit Finalist for 2021 World Greatest Ideas Award

May 5, 2021 12:10 PM ET

CENTENNIAL, CO, May 5, 2021 /3BL Media/ – Arrow Electronics was named a Fast Company 2021 World Changing Ideas Award finalist in the experimental category for its SAM Suit innovation - a Semi-Autonomous exoskeleton designed to restore mobility in severely disabled individuals. The SAM Suit is an extension of the technology approach used to develop the Arrow SAM Car, a Corvette modified with electronic interfaces to allow quadriplegic former race car driver Sam Schmidt to drive at racetrack speeds with head and voice controls.

Arrow is collaborating with robotic engineering researchers at Vanderbilt University and designing the SAM Suit with Schmidt in mind. 

Schmidt has been confined to a wheelchair for 21 years since he was injured in a racing accident and paralyzed from the shoulders down.  Schmidt essentially requires a double exoskeleton - one that provides stability all the way up to his neck and helps him move him with the help of an assistant.  In subsequent iterations, the team will add layers of semi-autonomous technology – providing him with more mobility and personal freedom.

Now in its fifth year, Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards honor clean technology, innovative corporate initiatives, brave new designs for cities and buildings, and creative solutions that help drive change and respond to the pandemic. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 entries.

About Arrow Electronics

Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) guides innovation forward for over 180,000 leading technology manufacturers and service providers. With 2020 sales of $29 billion, Arrow develops technology solutions that improve business and daily life. Learn more at

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: 

World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With a goal of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.