“We were awarded the prize for the best contribution at a highly ranked international conference on mechanism design for robotics in Italy, the 4th International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science Symposium,” Sajid Rafique says.
The AXO-Suit has been developed at the University of Gävle during a period of three years. A mechanical skeleton is attached to the lower part of the body to give freedom of mobility to the elderly and people with reduced mobility. The University of Gävle leads the development and the ultimate goal is to assist the elderly so they can remain independent and active as long as possible.
The elderly is becoming a larger group
One of the major challenges today is that the elderly is becoming a proportionally larger part of the world’s population. This in turn means that the pressure on, as well as the costs for, healthcare is growing. In 20 years, a majority of the population in Europe will be 65 years old or older.
“Many companies have contacted us because already at the age between 40 and 50, the arms and knees of their employees are worn out by work involving repetitive lifting task, a fact which costs the companies hundreds of millions of SEK.
Basic research on EXO-LEGS and the AXO-SUIT is now finished and, at present, the researchers focus on developing products for the market.
“We are going to develop a user-friendly product which is thinner and smoother and that can be easily attached to the body. Available EXO-LEGS products cost 130 000 SEK, but we aim to develop a product that will cost below 20 000 SEK. It can be done,” Sajid Rafique concludes.
For more information, please contact:
Sajid Rafique, researcher in robotics at the University of Gävle
Phone: 073-636 88 06
Magnus Isaksson, professor in electronics at the University of Gävle
Phone:026-64 82 49, 070-360 82 49
Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Photo Sajid Rafique: Marie Hägg