How is Amazon’s Alexa being used for mobility assistance?

Answer: by controlling robot exoskeletons

by / August 18, 2017
The Amazon Alexa personal assistant speaks through the Amazon Echo, among other Amazon technologies. Flickr/MJZ Photography

Robotics company Bionik Laboratories, based in Toronto, has developed an interface that could be a  game-changer for those requiring mobility assistance.

This interface can control the lower body of Bionik's Arke robotic exoskeleton using Amazon’s Echo and Alexa voice command technology. As long as the user is within voice range of Alexa, he can get help in simple movements with commands such as “Alexa, I’m ready to stand” and “Alexa, let’s walk to the kitchen.”

"This pairing of our robotic technologies with the power of Amazon’s Alexa further pushes the boundaries of what technology can do within the home health-care industry, and we believe we will help many impaired individuals regain the mobility they once lost,” Bionik Co-Founder, Director and COO Michal Prywata said in a statement.

While the tech is far from perfect (users must remain within range of Alexa for it to work), it is yet another of the abundant innovations made recently in using technology to improve mobility assistance.