Bionik Laboratories, a robotics company focused on providing rehabilitation and assistive technology solutions to individuals with neurological and mobility challenges, announced it has integrated Amazon’s Echo technology and Alexa Voice Service into its ARKE lower body exoskeleton.
It will utilize multiple sensors located throughout the device in combination with Alexa. Users will be able to activate different activity modes, such as Standing and Walking, by saying “Alexa, I’m ready to stand” or “Alexa, I’m ready to walk.”
Most movements are initiated by the upper body. As such, sensors in the feet, angle sensors in the joints, and inertial measurement units feel how the body weight is distributed and, combined with upper body information and movements, allow people to take a step. Utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to translate information from all this sensor information intelligently activates the ARKE for those paralyzed from the waist down, as it mimics movements that would generally allow an able person to take steps.
Bionik co-founder Michal Prywata said, “In building ARKE, we had one goal in mind – to empower the user to take back their mobility and regain the ability to complete tasks that the rest of us deem normal.”
“This pairing of our robotic technologies with the power of Amazon’s Alexa further pushes the boundaries of what technology can do within the home healthcare industry,” Prywata added.
Aside from the large number of citizens who have suffered injury, the global population is also aging rapidly, and those citizens will be in need of a home-based assistive product that can truly provide them the mobility that a wheelchair, cane, or crutches currently can’t, said Peter Bloch, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Bionik.
“We will continue to seek out partnerships and technological advancements that will enable us to serve that population on a mass consumer scale,” Bloch added.