New Device Allows People With Disabilities to Stand

  • July 16, 2013
On the left, a man in a purple shirt is in a sitting position on the TEK RMD. On the right, the same man stands on the machine (holding the handlebars) and smiles into the camera.
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Tech company Matia Robotics is in the process of producing its newest creation: the TEK Robotic Mobilization Device (RMD ). The groundbreaking technology provides mobility and independence for paraplegics or other persons who use a wheelchair. However, the device is not your average wheelchair. It gives the user the power to stand.

While a wheelchair is certainly useful for persons with limited mobility, it is not a perfect accessibility device for several reasons. First, the design of wheelchairs can make transfer difficult. If a user is sitting in an armchair, for example, and wants to switch back to their wheelchair, they are not in a prime position for transfer. They must turn around to maneuver back to their chair. The TEK RMD changes this by allowing the user to board from the front. Instead of needing to turn around, you can slide right on. The TEK RMD also features a remote control so the user can move it to a perfect position for boarding.  Second, the TEK RMD takes up less than a third of the space a conventional wheelchair does. This allows for increased mobility and maneuvering in tight spaces.

The use of the TEK RMD can have positive psychological benefits as well. As detailed in a CNN article, user Yusuf Akturkoglu’s life has been changed by the technology.

 “I can live my life much closer to my life before the accident,” he said. “I can fit into places that I didn’t used to [be able to],” and the psychological impact of communicating at eye level, instead of having to look up all the time, has made him more social.

Of course, the most intriguing aspect of the TEK RMD is the feature that allows users to stand. Instead of needing help to reach high places, users of the TEK RMD can simply stand (with the help of springs that reduce the amount of strength needed to pull oneself up) and reach–because this device is hands free. Watch this video to see how the TEK RMD helps its users quickly transition between sitting and standing:

httpv://vimeo.com/37343809

As we all know, mobility isn’t everything. Health is also critically important. Standing exercises are employed by Paraplegics to preserve muscle strength and overall health. Other devices that allow standing are either slow, poorly balanced, or require outside assistance. The TEK RMD removes these problems, making standing a quick and easy experience.  The TEK RMD has not been released yet, but you can reserve yours now by going to their website. While the price tag is currently pretty steep, this technology is top of the line in terms of safely increasing independence, promoting mobility, and preserving health.

 

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