Rolling Without Limits

Your mobility may be limited. Your voice, boundless.

U.S. Startup Receives U.S. Veterans Affairs' Grant to Make Veterans More Productive and Independent
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U.S. Startup Receives U.S. Veterans Affairs' Grant to Make Veterans More Productive and Independent

Good news for millions of veterans with disabilities – a US-based startup has just announced a major breakthrough, a new product that will help veterans with reduced mobility become more independent and productive in their daily lives.

According to New Medical Life Sciences, Prehensile Technologies has just revealed the RoboTable to help veterans with disabilities better use their mobile devices while restricted to their beds.

Prehentile Technologies is one of only three recipients of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs' Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Assistive Technology Grant, which provides scientific funds to those promising startups and organizations who work on improving veterans' ability to live independently.

The RoboTable and its future

Developed by Brad Duerstock and Jeffrey Ackerman, RoboTable is an over-the-bed robotic arm that mobilizes laptops and other mobile devices for veterans with mobility issues. The high-tech robotic device has been designed to maintain productivity regardless of the user’s position. Additionally, the device also offers lots of flexibility, which can be moved and even adjusted horizontally or vertically to best fit the user’s position. Aside from that, users can also use their smartphones or any mobile devices from a completely reclined position.

RoboTable stems from the company’s first device, the amazing RoboDesk, a wheelchair platform allowing users to independently extend and retract the robotic arm and the devices it carries when needed. The company expects the same independence and productivity for bed-bound veterans.

In the future, the company plans to add even more advanced features, including voice control. The company also plans to address the needs of users with upper limb mobility issues. It also plans to expand its focus to include not just its veterans audience but also long-term care facilities. The company’s chief technology officer Jeffrey Ackerman said that there is a huge demand for this kind of technology in the market.

Prehentile Technologies was founded by Duerstock, an associate professor of engineering practice at Purdue University, and Jeffrey Ackerman, a graduate of the School of Mechanical Engineering.

In addition to the Veteran Affairs’ grant, Prehensile Technologies also received some startup assistance from the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurial and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Finally, the company’s SAH Assistive Technology Grant is valid only for 18 months. The company hopes to gain a partnership with manufacturers and a working prototype in the very near future.

 Image Credit: Purdue University Research Foundation News

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