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

22 Comments

  • Annette says:

    But you could only wear it standing up, couldn’t you?

    Especially people who are prone to get bed sores from having to lie in bed a lot wouldn’t want to have sth hard between them and their matress or chair.

    And to put it on you’d have to get them out of bed first.

    Or am I missing sth? If it worked, it would be a blessing for all the people caring for others.

    • Radhika Seth says:

      Hi Annette, looks like you missed the point completely, As I have mentioned in the post, Atlas is meant for the caregiver. It is not meant for the patient.
      When you are moving the patient, inadvertently put a strain on yourself as well if you don’t take proper precautions.
      The exoskeleton attempts to offer support to the nurse or caregiver, helping them maintain the correct posture while they lend a helping hand.

  • brack says:

    Interesting idea, sleek in design except for the feet. Check out Raytheon’s soldier exoskeleton.

    I don’t think it beats good-old-fashioned, “bend at the knees, not the back” matra. Good luck.

  • Michael says:

    I’ve seen a Japanese version of this a few years back to help carers move patients, though a different design. Moke’s link is the one I was thinking of.

    I’d also say that this puts a considerable load on the wrist itself.

  • Chung Dha says:

    Not original anymore because this concept already exist from Hal and also Honda uses exoskelet for their workers nowadays in their factory.

    Also shouldn’t the patient be wearing one instead of the nurse?

    • Whisper says:

      @ChungDha … not original anymore… you miss the idea behind this! It`s not an invention, it`s a desing-concept. Oh by the way, HAL-5 is a prototyp and not something “they” use nowadays.

      “Everyone is ignorantly, however in different areas.”
      William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (1879-1935)

  • Julia says:

    but why should it not be used for the patient?

  • actuators, power supply, control interface all missing. Ok it’s a concept, but really people if your going to propose a concept at least address some of the points that move it from fantasy into reality.

    zipyflounder.com

  • DB says:

    The US military already has this in development. Including working prototypes. Obviously its design intent is for soldiers, but its possible usefulness for the elderly and disabled hasn’t been looked over either. This just looks like a prettier rendering. But the idea of an exo-skeleton type device is as old as science-fiction.

  • Annette says:

    Ah, silly me… Makes much more sense this way.

  • sarah says:

    its for the caregiver not the patients. When you have to help hold up someone, or help them get in and out of bed, all this puts strain on you, the caregiver. by using this device it helps keep you balance and not throwing your back out, when your trying to help some old lady. Imagine collapsing to the floor in pain and following right behind you some poor old lady because you dropped her. This way everyone is safe.

  • Anoush Mortazavi says:

    Sounds a bit like Iron Man. The question is, does it work?

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