An innovative assistive technology exoskeleton device has arrived at Flinders at Tonsley, where College of Science and Engineering biomedical researchers will put it to the test ahead of clinical trials in Adelaide.
Following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fourier Intelligence, the ExoMotus X2 exoskeleton will be customised with a Flinders University sensor and controller to enhance the device’s ability to be an effective robotic gait rehabilitation tool for people who have suffered a stroke.
“People after stroke often have problems walking due to weakness and poor coordination. To recover effectively, they need to intensively practice the things they find difficult,” says Flinders University researcher Dr David Hobbs.
“This rehabilitation is complex since walking itself is extremely difficult or needs a lot of assistance following a stroke.
“Our technology and the Fourier exoskeleton system will allow people to practice walking, in an intuitive way, with less reliance on other people.
The partnership, with Singapore-based Fourier, the University of South Australia and the Royal Adelaide Hospital through a new Medical Research Future Fund grant, will expose many undergraduate and postgraduate students to the latest technology before entering the workforce.
The MRFF grant project, entitled ‘The feasibility and potential of a novel robotic gait bioprosthesis for people with severe gait impairment poststroke,’ will continue for three years.
Senior Lecturer Dr Hobbs and Flinders University Professor Karen Reynolds, together with research fellow Dr Robbie Trott from the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute at the Tonsley Innovation District, say rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies will form a big part of rehabilitation and biomedical engineering into the future.
The latest Flinders MoU agreement was signed and witnessed online by the University’s Professor Karen Reynolds, Dr Hobbs and Simon Brennan, with Fourier Intelligence representatives Zen Koh, Owen Teow and Taya Hamilton.
Fourier Co-Founder and Global CEO Mr Koh says: “Our partnership helps us grow in possibilities towards collaborating in meaningful technologies, clinical protocols and clinical usage, which is very close to our hearts. By joining forces, we aim to achieve what is most vital, making technologies more accessible to those who require it.”