Singaporean researchers created a Robot Catch Elderly People who fall.
The Mobile Robotic Balance Assistant (MRBA); or “Mister Bah,” is a “wearable assistive robot that can detect and prevent a fall before it happens.” It was created by researchers from NTU Singapore and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. However, with help from the state-backed National Robotics Programme.
MRBA “uses its inbuilt sensors to instantly detect a loss of balance and catches the user with its associated safety belt,” NTU Singapore states. It can also “assist users who have trouble walking and balancing get up securely from a seated posture; and to sit down comfortably from a standing position.”
Falls are the biggest cause of injury-related deaths in the US for individuals over 65; according to the CDC. According to NTU Singapore; falls are the second largest cause of accidental or unintentional injury mortality globally.
In clinical studies with 29 stroke; TBI, and spinal cord injury patients, MRBA helped them sit; stand, walk, and collect water, NTU Singapore reports. “No participant fell throughout the three-day testing.”
The university says the researchers behind MRBA have developed three models of the robot; filed four patents related to its underlying technology, and is looking to “expand the study and recruit 71 more participants from day rehabilitation centres to further build the use case for the robot in home and community settings.” It could be commercially available by 2023.