The Tek RMD (Robotic Mobilization Device) offers the ability for individuals with paraplegia and other walking disabilities to complete everyday tasks from a standing position. As the company says, it’s not a wheelchair alternative, but a brand new mobility platform for the disabled – allowing them to independently and safely sit, stand, and navigate environments that were once inaccessible.
Boarding from the back
A standard wheelchair can only be front-mounted. While sitting, say in a couch, bed or chair, a person’s body rests on the back with the front side being free. Now to move from that position to a standard wheelchair, paraplegic people have to lift their body with their arms and fling themselves onto their wheelchairs. This motion of flinging the body is dangerous, cumbersome, and almost impossible when unassisted – especially for overweight and/or older people. Tek RMD allows users to board from the back without the assistance of others, providing greater independence.
Once boarded, it is very easy and quick to stand up with the Tek RMD. The suspension system contains a gas spring mechanism that balances the weight of the user – so only a gentle pull is required to switch to a standing position.
Joystick + Remote control
When standing, a joystick control allows the user to take his/her own path. A remote control allows the user to be free from the device – sit in a chair or sofa, or lay on the bed. The user can send the device away, and call it back using the remote control when needed.
Standing up and health
The benefits of standing for paraplegic people are well documented – including increased bone density, improved circulation, improved respiration, better skin health etc. Since the Tek Robotic Mobilization Device makes it quick and easy to stand up and sit down unassisted, users are encouraged to do this exercise countless times a day.
Correct standing position
Not many devices can lift the user to a fully upright position. And walking aids like leg braces can only be used with canes or walkers, which means the user’s hands are occupied; holding the cane or walker. Typical house and work environments are not set up for paraplegic people. The Tek RMD holds the user in an upright position while leaving his hands free – allowing the user to perform daily tasks such as cooking, washing dishes, ironing, etc.
Dimensions and Weight
The company claims that the Tek Robotic Mobilization Device is the world’s smallest motorized standing movement device. Navigating through typical home and office environments means you might need to pass through narrow spaces, which is not quite possible with a wheelchair of an average width of 60 cm. The Tek RMD is only 16.3″ wide and 29.5″ long (42 cm X 75 cm) and weighs 242.5 lbs (110 kg) – it covers only one third of the space of a small wheelchair.
Matia Robotics’ website states that the device is a patented, CE Marked, and FDA 510(k) cleared technology. As of this writing, Numotion is the exclusive distributor for the product in the US, and the price mentioned on their website is 24,999 USD. The company has distributors in the UK, Ireland and Australia too.
Bill Winchester, the first American to test out the TEK RMD, aptly puts it:
That self-confidence, that ability to be recognized as an adult standing. The mental element of looking eye-to-eye to somebody is a tremendous mental and moral accomplishment.
Source: Matia Robotics