The Tek Robotic Mobilization Device developed by Istanbul, Turkey-based AMS Mekatronic, bridges the gap between bulky wheelchairs with the inherent problems that come with them and mechanical engineering that will give many paraplegics more and easier access to their world.
The idea is brilliant in its simplicity to the point that one wonders why something like this is new. Using a combination of balancing mechanisms, manual attachments and pulleys, and robotic engineering, the AMS team has reduced the horizontal size of mobility devices while solving other challenges such as mounting and reach.
At 36cm wide and 62cm long it is a third the size of a typical wheelchair. It’s mechanics and vertical dimensions do make it heavy, weighing in at 176 lbs, but a remote control allows users to bring the device to them. With a price tag around $15,000, it may need to prove the cost-savings that it brings through improving on other potential health issues that it solves.
The device is designed to make people stand more often, proven to help with cardiovascular health and weight concerns. If the preventative benefits can overcome the higher cost, insurance companies may be willing to adopt the device as a standard which is one of the primary goals of AMS.
“In addition to losing their ability to walk, they also lose their ability to stand up,” said Hurriyet Yilmaz, an associate professor at Halic University in Istanbul. “This causes a variety of unwanted health issues, especially problems such as cardiovascular disease, blood pressure irregularities, pressure soars, and loss of bowel and/or bladder functions, which also directly lead to additional medical costs. People with spinal cord injuries need to stand in an upright position for a certain amount of time every day.”
Here’s the device in action: