Robotic assist helps paraplegic stand and move around

Seeing this device help a man get up out of his wheelchair makes us wonder why this hasn’t been around for ages. The design principles behind the Tek RMD greatly benefit those without use of their legs. But it’s not just to help him stand, it also serves as motorized transport that makes bulky electric wheelchairs look so last century.

Instead of having the support structure beneath the rider, the RMD (Robotic Mobilization Device) uses a sling-like method to hang from the hinged arm. A folding handlebar can be raised up, allowing the rider to move from sitting to standing with a bit of help from the machine. Whether upright or sitting, the device can travel using its electric motors. In fact, this tip was sent in because it looks very much like riding a Segway.

The video demonstration after the break really hits home the functionality provided. This is an instant quality of life improvement, breaking down some of the barriers of moving around in confined quarters with a motorized wheelchair. There is also a lot to be said for having the option to stand. The demo shows several circumstances like shopping at the market, going through the checkout, and grilling out. What an amazing use of technology.

[Thanks Doug via Gizmodo]

Comments

  1. Bob says:

    Great machine!. Im just concerned that even thought he batteries are at the bottom, that it may still be fairly top-heavy and unstable on uneven ground relative to a wheelchair.

  2. Joe Everyday says:

    Even smaller wheels than wheelchair make this even less steps-friendly. That aside, interesting concept!

  3. SpydaMonky says:

    Very cool!

  4. ino says:

    I really like the idea !
    Make it as safe as a wheelchair and it’s a winner.

  5. Grant says:

    Looks a little prototype-y to me but it is definitely a huge improvement over a wheelchair. On the other hand, I wonder if you’d just be trading pressure sores from the wheelchair for pressure sores from the straps holding the person on the device. Also at 80kg, a paraplegic isn’t going to throw this in the back of their car.

  6. robomonkey says:

    progress marches on! Wonder what the sticker on something like that is? Will insurance cover it?

    • n0lkk says:

      My guess is that private medical health insurance will not cover it because of individual coverage caps. Such caps may come into play paying for the health care, treatment and physical rehabilitation in dealing with the event that resulted in paraplegia. Of course that depends on the insurance coverage a healthy person can afford and/or is willing to spend for it.

  7. n0lkk says:

    Interesting, no doubt it’s prohibitively expensive for most of those who could make use of it. Fortunately there will be no benefits of large scale production to reduce the cost.

  8. Kees says:

    Great invention !! A good friend of mine has lots of troubles getting in and out of bed because of his desease, this would be a great help for him. Let´s hope the price is right (which I actually do not expect…).
    Respect for the inventors !!!

  9. Halexander9000 says:

    Where’s Steve Jobs?

  10. HackJack says:

    I don’t know what to say, that’s just absolutely fantastic. This kind of technology is just amazing and will make a huge difference to those living in a wheelchair.

  11. Azeroth says:

    I’m worried about what would happen if this thing tipped over. Yes, wheelchairs are simple but that simplicity can be advantageous.

  12. selim ozatici says:

    inventor is turkish.

  13. Dale says:

    The problem is as soon as you get outside it’ll be too unstable. Sidewalks are never very smooth, and curb cuts aren’t perfect.
    In order to make it more stable it would have to be at least the size of a wheelchair anyway.

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