Lean On Me

This post comes to you straight from the heart, because I have been in a situation where I have had to care for my mother each time she had her joints replaced. I’m talking about 2 hips and 2 knee replacement surgeries! Professionals like nurses and physiotherapists or family members like me, who have to look after such patients need to take extra care (of themselves) else risk injury to back or muscles. Atlas is a support exoskeleton for the caregiver that reduces risk of injury.

Simple tasks of helping the patient to change sides or taking them to the toilet can unknowingly put the caregiver at risk, if they don’t maintain the correct posture. I remember a time when I almost got a catch in my back because I was not carefully while making my mother sit up in bed.

The Atlas is a powered exoskeleton that deciphers the electrical activity in the user’s muscles and measures the pressure that is put on different contact areas when in use. Using this combo of readings as a feed, the machine’s computer promptly processes the info and reacts almost as fast as a human reflex. It runs on internal batteries that can be recharged via the nearest power outlet. A combination of small powerful electric motors are placed within each joint giving the user the ability to maneuver people who weigh up to 100 kgs, without any strain.

Four years and four surgeries later, I may think I’m a pro caregiver to my mom, but rest assured next time around (I hope there is no next-time!) I will lean on the Atlas for some support.

Designer: Erik Ulises Lanuza

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