NASHVILLE, Tenn., and CHICAGO – Officials with LUCI, a Nashville-based company whose software and hardware platform is reimagining power mobility, have announced a new collaboration taking place at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics Lab in Chicago. Using power wheelchairs supplied by Sunrise Medical and equipped with LUCI safety technology, the organizations are working together to research ways to improve wheelchair rider health and safety.
The collaboration is the first deployment of LUCI Sandbox, an open-platform software developers kit that is the first of its kind in the complex rehab technology (CRT) industry. Sandbox makes the LUCI platform and developer tools available to organizations and research institutions, allowing them to use LUCI as a research tool. The access allows researchers to forego the time and resources of an extensive development phase and instead start with proven hardware, documented safety, and previously unavailable data.
“We created LUCI to solve real problems that exist for wheelchair users today, and Sandbox is another way for our team to collaborate with leading groups like the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and Sunrise Medical, who are committed to doing the same,” said Jered Dean, cofounder and chief technology officer of LUCI. “By partnering with these forward-thinking organizations, we will be able to accelerate the development of tools that will ultimately allow for more partners to join the efforts underway to make power mobility safer and more connected to the real world.”
Researchers are using chairs provided by Sunrise Medical for the study, including chairs from the popular QUICKIE line. The work is being led by Brenna Argall, PhD, an associate professor of rehabilitation robotics at Northwestern University and faculty research scientist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, who called this “the best collaboration we have had with the industry.”
“Dr. Argall’s work in the robotics field is so impressive, but what makes her and her team stand out is their understanding and commitment to keeping the human in the loop,” said Dean. “This partnership is built on our organizations’ shared belief about the very purpose of robotics and autonomous technology in power mobility: to increase independence for the wheelchair driver.”
Based in Nashville, with R&D headquarters in Denver, LUCI was founded by Barry and Jered Dean, brothers who were driven to innovate from personal experience, and committed to creating change for people living with disabilities. LUCI’s industry accolades include TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020, Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New,” a CES Award of 2020, and Mobility Management’s “Smart Technology” Product Award. Learn more at LUCI.com.
About the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Founded in 1953 as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is the global leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation for adults and children with a range of conditions — from traumatic brain and spinal cord injury to stroke, amputation and cancer-related impairment. The organization opened its doors to a $550 million, 1.2-million-square-foot research hospital in March 2017. The facility is the first-ever “translational” research hospital in which physicians, scientists, innovators, technologists and clinicians work together with patients in the same space, applying novel research in real time during rehabilitation. The central goal of the translational approach is to develop new research and insights to help patients gain more function, achieve better outcomes and enjoy greater ability and independence.
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, go to sralab.org.
About Sunrise Medical:
Committed to improving people’s lives, Sunrise Medical is a world leader in the innovation, manufacture and distribution of advanced assistive mobility devices and solutions. Distributed in more than 130 countries under its own 17 proprietary brands, the key products include manual and power wheelchairs, e-mobility products, motorized scooters, seating and positioning systems, and daily living aids. Operating in 18 countries, Sunrise Medical group is headquartered in Malsch, Germany and employs over 2,200 associates worldwide. Learn more at: SunriseMedical.com.