A local start-up partnered with Niagara College’s Research and Innovation division to roll out a new mobility device for the aging population; the Ambulation, Retaining, Mobility and Mechanism device or ARMM, connects a wheelchair to a person’s walker.
Bisep Inc., CEO and founder Daniel Bordenave conceptualized the design and reached out to the college’s engineering research team to assist with its completion. Now, the company plans to manufacture 1,000 devices at Spark Niagara, a small manufacturing facility in Niagara Falls.
The new device connects a walker to a wheelchair, allowing a person to use their walker while the wheelchair trails behind them.
Bordenave said he recognized the need while working as a kinesiologist in a long-term care facility, where it would take two or more health-care practitioners to help one patient with mobility training. But the funding wasn’t always available to keep up with extra staffing.
“Patients weren’t walking on a daily basis, and I couldn’t keep up due to safety concerns and regulations,” he said in a statement from Niagara College..
He said he wouldn’t have been able to get the device off the ground without the department’s help.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the help of Niagara College’s Research and Innovation department … Having access to funding and the research expertise was beyond amazing,” he said.
Bordenave’s innovative design hasn’t gone unrecognized; in the summer of 2019 Bisep placed first in a competition for start-up companies who have created products or services which benefit older adults and caregivers.