Iron Arm is a light and ergonomic soft robotics device with intention detection and mechatronic actuators that can be used to support personal activities of daily life for elderly users and collect data on their physical activities, allowing them to maintain muscle strength and increase their life expectancy, as well as helping them to recover faster from injuries or other hand mobility impairing diseases.
Compared with the Iron Arm, current assistive robotic systems are bulky pieces of equipment focusing on passive movements based on forced grip and have limited intention detection capabilities. They have been designed mostly for specific heavy duty activities or for therapeutic rehabilitation, and not for supporting activities of daily life.
Iron Arm targets two primary market segments:
• The end-user market, where the device can be purchased by healthy older adults and frail older adults suffering from chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (as much as up to 5 % of the population suffer from weak or painful handgrip) to support activities of daily life.
• The rehabilitation market, where the device can be used during early rehabilitation phases (and later rented out to the patient for use at home). Currently, the number of stroke survivors with disabilities is estimated to 30 million, and hemiparesis (reduced arm/hand function) is the most prevalent disability (affecting 80 % of the patients).