Manmeet Maggu, co-founder and CEO of Trexo Robotics, tells the story of Trexo Home, a robotic walking device that can be used in conjunction with the Rifton Pacer. Note: Trexo Robotics is completely independent from Rifton Equipment.
Trexo’s Origin Story
I learned of my nephew’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy in 2006. At the time Praneit was still a young toddler, but the doctors already knew that he would not be able to walk. Determined to prove them wrong, we searched for many solutions but could not find one that would provide him with enough assistance and show him what walking was. We got him his first Rifton Pacer so he could experience regular weight bearing and be upright. I was determined to find a way to help him practice walking like his peers.
While this was happening, I was an engineering student at the University of Waterloo. For my final school year project, I decided to build robotic legs to help Praneit walk as I imagined. Because he was already familiar with the Rifton Pacer, and I needed a way to help keep him safe from falling, I decided to attach these legs to the Pacer.
Trexo Robotics is the result of this experiment, and it has progressed further than I have ever imagined. Seeing Praneit take his first steps with the Trexo was the proudest moment of my life. Today, I continue to experience this joy through stories I hear from families about how the Trexo Home has changed their lives for the better. I wanted to share some of these experiences with you in the hopes of helping you decide if the Trexo could help your child too.
Trexo Helps Take Steps with Repetition
Imagine a physical therapist moving your child’s legs, step by step, to help them learn how to walk correctly. Now imagine that the physical therapist never gets tired and moves each step precisely the same way over and over again. That’s the basic function of the Trexo.
We have seen kids who can only take one or two steps on their own, take thousands of steps with big smiles on their faces. With the Trexo they can walk further than they ever imagined, which makes them feel confident and strong. With the help of the Trexo, kids can work on their endurance and build strength in their legs.
With time, many kids start to show changes in their gait outside of the Trexo. With regular Trexo practice, they get enough repetitions to change the way they walk without it, learning to lift their knees, strike with their heels and improve the toe-off. One of our first users improved so much that she could practically race up stairs!
Good Posture for a Strong Core
The Trexo legs also help with posture. By keeping the child’s legs straight down, the Trexo holds the upper body upright, which causes the trunk to stay engaged. Pairing the Trexo correctly with Rifton’s chest prompt and arm prompts even helps kids who can’t roll or sit on their own. Stronger core and improved trunk control are some of the first changes we have seen in many of our Trexo Home users.
It’s amazing how many daily functions depend on the core. We have heard stories from parents describing how their child is now able to get dressed while sitting up, chew their food, not depend on the g-tube, and even drink from a straw cup independently. The core is called the core for a reason; it is important for everything the human body does!
For many kids who cannot sit or stand on their own, a stronger core helps with more independence. Proud parents have shared with us that their child is now able to balance longer and sit upright on their own.
Staying Active to Stay Healthy
Perhaps one of the most important things to us is that the Trexo has helped expand the type of person who can use assistive equipment for walking. Previously, if a child didn’t meet certain criteria, they would not be able to use a gait trainer to experience the power of walking. With the Trexo, many of those restrictions are gone.
The Trexo has successfully helped many kids with different abilities. This includes kids with one or more of the following: contractures, high tone, inability to roll, sit, balance independently, initiate movement and more. These kids use the Trexo and together take hundreds of thousands of steps. With each Trexo step, they walk towards improving their cardiovascular health, increasing the frequency of their bowel movements, tiring themselves out so they can sleep better and sharing the joy of walking with their loved ones.
Last year, my nephew took over 80,000 steps in the Trexo! We are also excited about the experiences other families have had with the Trexo. Of course these outcomes are reported by parents and are different for each child. Thanks to parents’ amazing feedback, we have several research studies in progress to help us understand the exact benefits of the Trexo.
In the meantime, each Trexo family teaches us more about using the adjustability of our system and the Rifton Pacer to create the perfect walking companion for their child. We hope you can join us on this exciting journey!
Connect with Trexo Robotics:
Back to Top
Phone: (USA) +1 650-646-7511
(Canada) +1 647-697-1110