GIE Media’s Competitive Manufacturing Summit, held in Cleveland, Ohio, brought together sector leaders to tackle the most important issues facing the manufacturing industry today. To conclude the event, Tom Grasson, the GIE industrial group’s associate publisher, hosted a panel discussion featuring presenters from throughout the day. Grasson and the panel members spent about 40 minutes talking in-depth about education, automation, re-shoring, and more.
At Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), physical therapists and researchers will perform a scientific assessment of the ability of the Honda Walking Assist Device or Stride Management Assist (SMA) to improve the mobility of patients who have experienced a stroke. This will serve as the first large scale clinical research study on the Honda Walking Assist Device to take place in the U.S.
The Honda Walking Assist Device is worn outside of clothing and consists of a stylish frame and battery-powered compact motors designed to assist people with reduced walking ability due to injury, illness or other causes. The device was developed by Honda R&D Co. Ltd.
"We are excited about bringing the Honda Walking Assist Device to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for research with the hope of helping adults in America recover from stroke and improve over-ground mobility," says Ryan Harty, manager of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "As a mobility company, Honda envisions a society where all people can experience the joy and freedom of personal mobility."
Stroke is the leading cause of the adult-onset of disability, affecting about 795,000 people in the U.S. each year*1,*2. A large proportion of these stroke survivors (up to 80%) experience considerable problems with walking, including reduced walking speeds and asymmetrical walking patterns, limiting their ability to walk.*3
"The goal of post-stroke rehabilitation is to reintegrate individuals back to their highest level of function for employment, social and community participation. The return of mobility and walking is a crucial part of this return to function," said Arun Jayaraman, PT PhD, of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Principal Investigator in the clinical research study.
Honda began research and development of the Walking Assist Device in 1999. As with ASIMO, Honda’s humanoid robot, the Walking Assist Device adopts cooperative control technology*4 that was developed based on Honda’s cumulative study of human walking. The control computer activates motors based on information obtained from hip angle sensors while walking to improve the symmetry of the timing of each leg lifting from the ground and extending forward and backward, and to promote a longer stride for easier walking. The compact design of the device was achieved through the adoption of thin motors and a control system developed by Honda, as well as a simple design with adjustable belts that enables the device to be worn by people of varied body size.
"We are committed to leveraging our research into humanoid robotics to improve people’s lives," Harty says.
From the early stages of the research and development of the Walking Assist Device, Honda has worked with research institutions and other organizations in Japan. Through this process, Honda has received encouraging feedback from patients who underwent walking training, physical therapists, medical doctors, and researchers, all of whom acknowledge certain effectiveness and compatibility of the device in the rehabilitation process.
A total of 9 sets of devices will be tested in the clinical research at RIC.
Key specifications of the Walking Assist Device
- Weight - Approximately 6 lbs. (including battery)
- Operating time per charge - More than 60 minutes
- Battery - Lithium-ion battery, 22.2V-1Ah
*1 H. S. Kaye, et al., "Mobility Device use in the United States. Disability Statistics Report (14) Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research," 2000
*2 C. f. D. Control. (July 2013). Fast-Stats-Cerebrovascular Accident or Stroke.
*3 K. J. Sullivan, et al., "Effects of task-specific locomotor and strength training in adults who were ambulatory after stroke: results of the STEPS randomized clinical trial," Phys Ther, vol. 87, pp. 1580-602, Dec 2007.
*4 Reference to: Tokyo institute of technology, Prof. Yoshihiro Miyake. "Entrainment of human walking through rhythmic auditory stimulation" theory
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the November 2013 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $827 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 56.9, an increase from the October index of 54.0, demonstrating an overall steady industry outlook despite continuing concerns about the U.S. economy and the negative impact of federal government fiscal policies.
When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent Russell Nelson, president, CoBank Farm Credit Leasing, said, “Continued stability and modest growth in the economy combined with increased strength in customer balance sheets, low interest rates, and pent-up demand for replacement/new assets for 2014 and beyond will generate double digit growth for equipment and facility financing over the next 18 to 24 months.”
November 2013 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 56.9, an increase from the October index of 54.0.
- When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 17.2% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 11% in October. 79.3% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 74% in October.3.4% believe business conditions will worsen, down from 15% who believed so the previous month.
- 13.8% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, up from 7.4% in October. 75.9% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, down from 77.8% the previous month. 10.3% believe demand will decline, down from 15% who believed so in October.
- 24% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 18.5% in October. 72.4% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, down from 81.8% in October. 3.4% expect “less” access to capital, up from no one who expected less access in October.
- When asked, 27.6% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 33.3% in October. 65.5% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down slightly from 66.7% last month. 6.9% expect fewer employees, up from no one who expected fewer employees in October.
- 6.9% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent”, up from no one who believed so last month. 75.9% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 85.2% last month. 17.2 % rate it as “poor,” up from 15% in October.
- 17.2% of the of survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from no one who believed so in October. 72.4% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, a decrease from 89% in October. 10.3% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, relatively unchanged from last month.
- In November, 34.5% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a slight increase from 33.3% in October. 65.5% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, also a slight increase from 66.7% last month. No one believes there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from October.
Survey results are posted on the Foundation website, http://www.leasefoundation.org/IndRsrcs/MCI/, included in the Foundation Forecast newsletter and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.
About the Foundation
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides vision for the equipment leasing and finance industry through future-focused information and research. Primarily funded through donations, the Foundation is the only organization dedicated to future-oriented, in-depth, independent research for the leasing industry. Visit the Foundation online at www.LeaseFoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @LeaseFoundation.
Source: The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation
What if certain patients could get a bionic pick-up without undergoing the pain and lengthy recovery of surgery? University of Cincinnati researchers are working on just that idea, with the start of an exoskeleton to support people who – through age or injury – are limited in their movement.
Gaurav Mukherjee, a UC master's student in mechanical engineering in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), presented the interdisciplinary research on Nov. 15, 2013, at the International Human-Centered Robotics Symposium held at UC's Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center.
Working with a senior student design team in mechanical engineering, Mukherjee and Grant Schaffner, an assistant professor in UC's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, designed and built a spring-assisted leg exoskeleton that can help people stand and sit. Further research partnerships with Shikha Chaganti, a master's degree student in computer science, and her advisor, Anca K. Ralescu, a UC professor of computer science, are examining how a brain-computer interface can interpret how to operate the exoskeleton with what the user wants to do.
Mukherjee says that a movement analysis study has been underway in the lab - using markers on the body to build a virtual model. The results of the experiment can help researchers design the exoskeleton to supplement the capability of the user.
Additionally, researchers are exploring muscle activity to produce a suit that will work in cooperation with the natural movement of the patient/user, rather than forcing a predetermined motion.
Mukherjee says the exoskeleton could hold promise for the nation's aging Baby Boomer population, adding that as many as 3 million American senior citizens currently require some form of nursing supervision. The interdisciplinary research is hoped to one day benefit geriatric patients, patients affected by stroke and paraplegics, in gaining independence in movement.
The exoskeleton research is a collaboration with the College of Engineering and Applied Science's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems and the UC College of Nursing.
Future research will involve further development of the exoskeleton in building supports to enable movement of ankles and hips, as well as developing better fluidity in movement.
Watch an animation of the research on YouTube.
Source: University of Cincinnati
Vention Medical officials announce the launch of a new online Polyimide Tubing Catalog, expanding its online offering that gives customers quick and easy access to thousands of ready-to-ship components used in a wide range of medical device applications.
With online ordering, medical device engineers can speed product development timelines by avoiding the wait for price quotes and long lead times. More than a thousand components are available for immediate shipment, and custom items can be delivered in as little as a few days to two weeks. With very low minimum orders, customers can save costs by ordering only what they need.
“Our customers are all about getting products to market faster,” says Bruce Nichols, vice president and general manager of Vention’s Polyimide business unit (formerly RiverTech Medical). “We now have more than 150 configurations of polyimide tubing available for immediate order, so you can get small quantities in a fraction of the time it takes for custom orders. That helps compress your product development timelines.”
Polyimide tubing is ideal for minimally invasive, low-profile medical devices because of its extremely thin walls and tight-tolerance inner and outer diameters. Examples include cardiovascular, peripheral, neurological and urological catheters and devices.
Source: Vention Medical