A research and development team, based in Istanbul, Turkey, have devised a life changing device that can be used in conjunction with ordinary wheelchairs. The Tek Robotic Mobilisation Device or Tek, manufactured by company AMS Mekatronic, is a robotic machine that allows people who are confined to life in a wheelchair, to be able to stand up for the first time. This means that they can perform everyday ordinary tasks they would not normally be able to do, such as getting themselves out of bed, doing domestic chores, and even shopping.
The team who devised the Tek have given it to Yusuf Akturkoglu to test the device and he says it has already transformed his life. The 27-year-old tragically lost the use of both his legs after he fell from a horse around five years ago. On asked how the Tek had changed his life, he commented, “It’s wonderful to stand up because we spend our lives sitting. We can stand up if somebody helps and that happens once a day or maybe twice, if somebody is around. If not, we don’t get up. But by using this device, I can get up whenever I want. This device helps me to get mobilised. I can go to the kitchen and do whatever I want. I feel free.”
The problem that regular wheelchair users find is that they need an awful lot of upper body strength in order to lift themselves to and from the wheelchair. For example, whenever a wheelchair user wants to get into the wheelchair, they have to physically lift their whole body weight with their arms and literally throw themselves onto their wheelchairs. Without assistance this can be dangerous and they can end up on the floor. The great benefit of having a Tek device is that it can be brought to you by remote control and users can then strap themselves into it before then hoisting themselves into a standing position with comparative ease.They can then move about using the Tek with the remote control, all whilst still standing up.
The Tek measures just over 1ft wide and 2ft long so it is very compact. It is rechargeable but you do have to recharge it every three days. The inventor of the Tek, a Necati Hacikadiroglu, spoke to Reuters, saying, “We’ve developed a device that enables paralysed people to move through narrow passages, sit on a chair like you and I do, use the washrooms that we use, wash their hands and do their own shopping. It provides them with the opportunity to live in places not designed for paralysed people.” The Tek has since undergone many clinical trials and doctors are impressed with it. Another benefit of the Tek is that it can help to prevent many unwanted health issues paralysed people face, due to their forced sedentary lifestyle, such as pressure sores, obesity, and diabetes. If the Tek goes into manufacture, it will certainly be of use to the millions of diasbled people around the world.