Israeli innovation has once again introduced potentially life-changing technology to the world. Dr. Amit Goffer gave millions of paraplegics (paralyzed from waist down) the opportunity to stand upright and walk with his ReWalk exoskeleton invention. But the incredible device from Israel’s Argo Medical Technologies can only be used by 10 percent of handicapped individuals. So what about quadriplegics, including Dr. Goffer, who don’t have full use of their arms? The UPnRIDE is a Segway for quadriplegics — a standing wheelchair that provides stability for all terrain use.
“I have the benefit of being confined to a wheelchair so I tried to create the ultimate solution for the handicapped as I see it. The person on the outside will see it as a Segway and not a wheelchair. For the younger generation of handicapped individuals, this is especially important,” said Dr. Goffer, who is working with RehaMed Technologies CEO Oren Tamari on the new product.
While ReWalk is designed for walking, UPnRIDE is like a Segway or electric scooter that allows for mobility in either sitting or standing positions. What separates UPnRIDE from previous standing wheelchairs is stability that allows users to venture into urban settings with confidence. Tamari explained to Israeli innovation news site No Camels that there are three new components to the device: maintaining the same center of gravity when sitting and standing, a stabilized platform that keeps the seat vertically balanced at all times and safety arms that catch the user if they fall and places them back in the device.
Patent applications have been filed and UPnRIDE is currently in the design phase. The device is about two years from market with the first prototype ready within several months, according to Tamari. They hope for the same success as ReWalk, which recently received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for personal use at home and in the community.
Via No Camels
Images via RehaMed Technologies