Archives for posts with tag: ReWalk

UPnRIDE, ReWalk, quadriplegic, standing wheelchair, Segway

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The trend of assistive technology is heading away from bulky, inconvenient wheelchairs that limit user’s interaction with the world. As there are different levels of injury and disability for those with spinal cord and other neurological injuries, depending on the severity some have functional use of their upper extremities but not their lower extremities, while others have limited use of their upper and lower extremities. And while there have been amazing strides for mobility with exoskeletons for those with these injuries such as the ReWalk, most new robotic assistive devices require mobility of the arms in order to support the body with assisted walking.

As necessity is the main driver for invention, the founder of the ReWalk, Amit Goffer, is in the process of developing a new product which would provide upright mobility and transfer assistance for those with injuries leaving them injured from the neck down. This product is the UPnRIDE, a standing wheelchair that moves like a Segway, and also converts to allow for sit to stand transfers. The UPnRIDE is quite amazing in its ability to negotiate uneven surfaces, slopes, turns, and allow for balance righting for safety of the user. Standing, being able to change positions, negotiating the outside environment are important not only for someone’s quality of life but also for basic health.

While the product is still in the design phase with the price goal of $25,000, it has already been funded and a prototype is in the plans to be released soon. See the video below for more information:

ReWalker Oliver, Berlin, Germany

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The purpose of this blog is to connect robotics to industry. However, as a physical therapist, I have to say I am personally vested in the amazing products that have been developed for rehabilitation in the past few years. The ReWalk is another great product that allows for the mobility of those who are otherwise wheelchair bound. A bionic exoskeleton with forearm crutches allows those with lower body impairments to stand, walk, and see others ‘face to face,’ as their website points out. Additionally, ReWalk also allows for clients to participate in exercise that is otherwise unfeasible due to their physical limitations. Their models are available at a number of rehabilitation centers throughout the US, Europe, and Israel.

Update: The ReWalk has now been cleared by the FDA for personal use outside of rehabilitation centers.