The MYGO is a soft garment exoskeleton, with built in printed conductive electrodes. It creates and boosts electrical signals to different nerves and muscles sequentially throughout the body, helping patients stand, walk, and move functionally, where previously they were unable, or only with difficulty.
Inverness-based 4c Engineering have been supporting Move4Ward since the start of 2021, working through the system development, and creating the working prototypes of the control unit which sits at the centre of the MYGO system. This has involved a crossover of mechanical, electrical, control/electronics, physics, biology, graphical user interface development and rapid manufacture prototyping of the physical components to produce a workable, yet controllable and safe, proof-of-concept system.
Initial trials have shown the promise of the device, particularly for one individual, Ali Johnston, who was already being supported by Move4ward in their original physio/rehabilitation day job – you can see and hear more about Ali’s own perspective in these clips from STV and BBC Radio Scotland.
For us here at 4c Engineering this has been an immensely rewarding project – we are used to working on technology such as renewable device development which has the can have regional, national and even global impact, but this has the potential to be completely life-changing for individuals around the world with spinal cord Injuries & neurological disabilities, and we’ve been able to see that personally with Ali’s own experience.
The Highlands and Islands have a strong track record in innovation, and the field of life sciences is a key area for the region. It’s a sign of the collaborative strength of the area and the support available from HIE (Highlands & Islands Enterprise) that although there are partners from across Scotland and beyond, a significant portion of the work was carried out by ourselves in Inverness and Move4ward based in Elgin.
The grounded professional credibility of Move4ward as experienced movement experts and physiotherapists, combined with their vision and determination and the clear potential of the technology, has seen them succeed in various innovation funding competitions, including Scottish EDGE and Unlocking Ambition, which has allowed them to develop the system thus far. In order to get the MYGO finalised, certified and ready for mass manufacture, they need to raise significant levels of capital. An investment round is due later in 2022; in the meantime, you can support them via their interim crowdfunder and keep up with their news at www.mygo4ward.co.uk.
We look forward to seeing the next stages of development as they unfold.