Robotic tech brings freedom to paraplegics

Mar 19, 2012
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Robotic tech brings freedom to paraplegics

Turkish scientists have invented a revolutionary new device for paraplegics that gives them more freedom and mobility than ever before to live independent healthy lives. The Tek Robotic Mobility Device, as it's called, uses robotic technology in a new platform that's completely different from traditional wheelchairs.

The Tek RMD is more reminiscent of a Segway than a wheelchair. It allows the user to mount from behind instead of from the front, which is a significant difference. Users typically have to use a lot of arm strength to lift and throw themselves from a bed onto a wheelchair, a move that's very difficult. With the Tek RMD, users can pull the device up to them via a remote control and then strap themselves into a harness while still seated. Once buckeled in, the user is lifted effortlessly up by the suspension system of the Tek RMD.

Easing the process of standing up and sitting back down is important for paraplegic people, who are often required to perform these exercises to maintain their overall health. By making the process more comfortable than it is with traditional mobility devices, it encourages more frequent exercise.

Unlike standing wheelchair devices that cannot lift up a user to a fully upright position, the Tek RMD can, while offering hands-free operation in the standing position. This makes it easier for users to go about regular daily activities such as washing dishes, cooking, or ironing even in environments not designed for physically handicapped people.

Additionally, the dimensions of the device make it only one-third the usual footprint of a traditional wheelchair. This offers greater mobility through tight spaces and manages to remain well-balanced. To see the Tek RMD in action, watch the video below.

[via Gizmodo]


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