KU Leuven: KU Leuven spin-off brings smart wheelchair to the market

The new operating system, named CoMoveIT Smart, is good news for people with complex movement disorders, says Professor Elegast Monbaliu of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. He is one of the founders of the spin-off. “Just think of wheelchair users with cerebral palsy (cerebral palsy). Due to their condition, they make many involuntary movements, which means that they cannot operate a traditional electric wheelchair. They are therefore dependent on the help of others for their movements. Our wheelchair control system changes that and creates maximum independent mobility.”

CoMoveIT Smart has a head-foot control system with sensors and uses artificial intelligence to recognize and compensate for involuntary movements of the user. Monbaliu: “Because our system continuously adapts, users with complex movement disorders can also operate an electric wheelchair. Many of them have good intellectual abilities, but their severe motor problems limit their options. Our wheelchair control system can help break through that motor lock-in . So we can give this group of wheelchair users more autonomy, participation and quality of life.”

For the sale, CoMoveIT will work together with specialized wheelchair consultants such as VIGO. The spin-off will therefore not itself provide for direct sales of the product to end users.

Health and technology central to Bruges Campus
“With the launch of CoMoveIT, the first spin-off for KU Leuven Campus Bruges is a fact,” says Vice Rector Piet Desmet, who is also academic manager of Campus Bruges. “By combining health and technology in its product, this spin-off reflects the identity of our campus. The campus in Bruges is thus further establishing itself as a real Health and Tech Campus . This is an ambition that we will further strengthen in the coming years by expanding the campus. For example, we recently bought land that still has a car wash on it. We will continue to expand our campus concept on this ground.”

The city of Bruges as a base for this spin-off is no coincidence. After all, the care sector is, in addition to tourism, one of the most important employment sectors. “This spin-off fits in perfectly with our profile as a city that not only focuses on tourism, but also on the health sector and the broad domain of technology,” says Mayor Dirk De fauw. “With its operating base in our recently launched incubator Brugge.inc, CoMoveIT will also serve as a showcase for the entrepreneurial ambitions of our city,” adds alderman Pablo Annys.

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