The life of kids who have to live with lower limb weaknesses seems to get somewhat easier thanks to Walkable Future Ltd., a Hungarian company, which developed a brace operating by engines to help the walking process of those in need, reports portfolio.hu.
Many children in Hungary and around the world live their life affected by the cerebralis paresis (CP) disease, which usually develops at infancy. The brain damage causes disability: the upper and lower limbs get weak, the muscles too tense, and the limbs might become deformed. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be cured yet, however, the life-damaging effects of the symptoms can get eased.
And that is where Walkable Future could become significant. It all started with the 16-year old András, who lives with CP, when his father wanted to help him, so he designed a customized walking machine, a brace, which is bends at the knees, and is operated by an engine. The machine had been constantly developed, and in 2015 the Walkable Future Ltd. was created in order to apply for an EU tender.
In less than a month they won the Horizon 2020 program, so the funding of the project became supported by the EU: the Hungarian company received a support of 50 thousand EUR directly from Brussels.
The coordinator of the project told portfolio.hu that the money was spent on research: they checked whether there is a need for the machine in the EU through a survey, and if so, how high the demand could be. The responses were very useful for the company, as it turned out that the demand is high, although, it seems to be difficult to bring the product to the Hungarian market.
But, luckily, the project did not stop, and the company is analysing the possibilities of the product’s acceptance by the National Health Insurance Fund. Moreover, they aim to further improve the brace, make it lighter, safer and more modern.
The technical capacities do not enable the machine to be used for therapies currently, but the goal is to develop it until it would make the everyday lives and activities of the disabled people easier. In a few weeks’ time the engineering developments would be finished and so would the software updates.
The product of Walkable Future Ltd. will be marketable after the developments are finished and all the necessary permissions were given, so it is not for sale yet. However, the company is looking for further resources to carry out developments, they may apply for the H2020 program again, to finalize the research.
Copy editor: bm