Assistive robots are devices that help seniors and people with disabilities perform their daily activities without the help of anyone else. They help them get back to normal life by supporting basic needs like bathing, dressing, eating, taking medications, communicating, playing, exercising, reading, relaxing, socializing, etc.
Assistive robots mostly benefit frail elderly, amputees, and others who suffer from spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, temporary impairment, etc. These devices allow disabled to transcend their disabilities via technological innovation and lead them out of their restrictive natural control to redefine what they want their body and abilities to look like.
There is a good number of assistive robots available in the market today for seniors and people with disabilities.
Exoskeletons, for instance, are designed to perfectly meet the needs of the disabled who cannot move around freely. There are mind-regulated robotic arms that can function much like human arms or even better.
In this post, we will look at some of the top assistive robots for people with disabilities.
1. Scewo Bro
Scewo Bro is a compact, self-balancing wheelchair that allows people to climb obstacles like stairs smoothly and independently. This innovative wheelchair offers a dynamic experience while navigating obstacles, providing a smooth and safe ride on the stairs.
The wheelchair has sturdy rubber tracks to provide a safe and comfortable transition up or downstairs, while the extra-wide base stabilizes the chair, even on spiral staircases. It can also provide agile maneuvering and dynamic driving over common obstacles like curbs. The user can use the joystick or a shift in body weight to control the chair.
The wheelchair features three different driving modes depending on the terrain. Safe mode is used for getting on and off, getting to a table, or standing still. Elevated mode enables eye-to-eye communication and reaching high-lying objects. Track mode overcomes slippery surfaces like snow or gravel, trickier obstacles, or steep inclines with increased traction. Scewo Bro won the “Best of the Best” Red Dot Design awards in 2019.
ReWalk develops and commercializes wearable systems to help people with lower-limb disabilities. The company currently has two products: ReWalk Personal and ReStore Exo-Suit.
ReWalk Personal is a robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion that enables people with spinal cord injuries to stand upright, walk, climb, and descend stairs. It allows independent, controlled walking while mimicking the natural gait pattern of the legs.
ReStore Exo-Suit is a lightweight, soft exo-suit designed for the rehabilitation of individuals with lower limb disabilities due to stroke. Perhaps, it is the only post-stroke gait training solution that provides both dorsiflexion and plantarflexion assistance to facilitate functional gait training. The company offers training programs for clinics and individuals who would like their own devices to use at home and in the community.
Atalante is an exoskeleton designed by French company Wandercraft for patients with locomotor disabilities, suffered from spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular diseases, or stroke. It is a robotic self-balanced, hands-free, lower limb exoskeleton. Used in healthcare institutions for walk rehabilitation, Atalante is easy to use and frees the patient’s upper limbs and trunk. Patients do not need to learn to balance with crutches. Walking and carrying out daily life tasks is almost immediate.
It can restore locomotion with adjustable assistance and enable early task-oriented motor work, promoting patient engagement and neuroplasticity. This realistic and autonomous walking exoskeleton allows people with a severe walking impairment to stand up and walk during rehabilitation exercises. Atalante enables early, intensive, and repeated treatment while minimizing the mental and physical burden on both the patient and therapist.
4. Gogoa’s HANK
Gogoa Mobility Robots develops affordable and effective wearable solutions to help people increase their capacity for movement. One of its products is Hank, a lower limb exoskeleton system, designed to help rehabilitate adults suffering from neurological injuries.
The system is also used for gait compensation in patients who have paralysis of the lower limbs after a spinal cord injury. It is the first exoskeleton to receive CE Mark approval for clinical use. Hank is also the first exoskeletons to have motorized ankles that allow for a more natural range of motion. It has six degrees of freedom. HANK is comfortable and lightweight, with a strong structure built with aluminum 7075. The final device weighs about 12 kg, including its battery pack.
5. ATLAS 2030
Marsi Bionics’ ATLAS 2030 is a pediatric exoskeleton that helps children between 4 and 10 years old, suffering from spinal cord injury, muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophy, myopathies, or another neuromuscular condition.
This child physical therapy tool has eight active joints to support the child from the trunk to the feet. It allows for 3D mobility in all spatial directions. The dimensions of the device can be easily adjusted, depending on the child’s growth. It can be easily placed in 5 minutes. It comes with an auxiliary frame that can be attached to the exoskeleton to guarantee patient safety and provide the child with the sensation of walking on their own.