New invention lets paraplegics stand tall

By MSN NZ staff
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For the first time in five years, Yusef Akturkoglu can get himself out of bed, do the grocery shopping, manoeuvre around shops and use the bathroom with ease.

The 28-year-old has been a paraplegic since he fell off a horse five years ago but now, thanks to a device invented by Turkish scientists, he can stand tall once again.

The invention, called the Tek Robotic Mobilisation Device, is set to be released onto the Turkish market this week.

As well as allowing more independent movement for paraplegics, it also helps them to stand up unassisted, which is vital in maintaining certain health functions and avoiding cardiovascular problems, brittle bones and pressure sores.

The patient ties a thick padded strap around their hips and manoeuvres themself into the back of the Tek RMD, by pressing buttons and pulling levers.

Mounting and dismounting is much safer than on a wheelchair as the user does not need to hoist themselves into a chair, Gizmodo reports.

Tek RMD uses a suspension system that balances the weight so the user can easily stand up by pulling gently on the handles.

The makers of the device claim it is the most compact of its kind.

They are looking to sell the device in Europe and the USA, where it is expected to cost around $15,000 ($NZ18,000).

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