Mitch Brogan and his London-based business Able Bionics went into the Den! There’s been a preview already (below) but the rest of the juicy outcome happens tomorrow at 8pm.
Mitchell Brogan will be on Wednesday’s episode of Dragons’ Den, hoping for investment to expand his business and make exoskeletons more affordable and accessible in Canada.
Brogan was left a quadriplegic after a drunk driver struck him while he was out cycling in 2006.
He started his business, Able Bionics, after learning of exoskeletons and having to travel to New Zealand for the technology.
Brogan tells AM980 his exoskeleton has made a huge difference physically and mentally.
“Muscle mass – I’ve been able to keep my tone, especially in my legs. Circulation – my bowel and bladder has been functioning better. Psychologically – happier, more motivated, I’ve been back to work.”
Brogan, nicknamed Robo-Brogan, says the exoskeletons provide a ton of benefit physically and mentally but they are expensive, which is why he’s hoping his appearance on Dragons’ Den will make the suits more widely accessible and affordable.
“I hope that people will identify with it, I hope that people will communicate this technology, this company to people that may be able to use it. I’m hoping that people may be able to take that leap themselves and decide that they would prefer to have better bone health and muscle health and be vertical and independent.”
From Able Bionics website, a note from Brogan:
As you may or may not know, 9 years ago I was cycling in London, Ontario when I was struck by a drunk driver and suffered a spinal cord injury. After recovering to the best of my ability, and over the past 4 years, I’ve developed a company in London, Ontario, Able Bionics, that has been operating modern exoskeletons and robotics for rehabilitation, helping many individuals with lower limb weakness and paralysis get up and walk again. As a quadriplegic, this technology has greatly assisted me in my own personal rehabilitation and has allowed myself and others to achieve a higher quality of therapy which has lead to a better quality of life.
Able Bionics is the first company in Canada that can sell individuals personal exoskeleton devices and train them then in their use. We also operate an Able Bionics program out of the Aspen Club & Spa in Aspen, Colorado, charitably funded by the Bridging Bionics Foundation.
We here at Able Bionics have been holding onto a big secret. Something HUGE is coming up soon and we cannot hold onto it much longer.
Find out what happens when I walk in a REX robotic walking device for the Dragons alongside a friend and farmer, Mike Munro (in our EKSO device), and physiotherapist extraordinaire Sari Shatil. I’ll tell ya this much….. we attempted to get the Dragons’ gold!
Hopefully you can catch the episode on October 21st at 8:00 pm EST, and if not it will be available for your viewing pleasure online at CBC.ca afterwards.
More about the company:
Promoting ambulation using gait rehabilitation equipment and providing a link for clients seeking to purchase exoskeleton bionics.
Founded in December 2011, the goals have stayed the same while the equipment has drastically evolved. As the Hocoma Erigo has always been the unique centrepiece of our gait rehab program, recently with the invention
of exoskeletons, we have added an Ekso 1 with Variable Assist as well as a Rehabilitation ReWalk exoskeleton to our equipment pool, making us the first and only company in Canada to provide access to this leading edge technology.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand, walk, and negotiate stairs. The P6 is designed for all day walking and is the only device available for use at home and in the community. It provides the most precise fit, highest walking speed and most natural gait of any powered exoskeleton.
“ReWalk Robotics is excited about this unique relationship with Able Bionics”, said Pete Escallier, Vice President of New Business Development for ReWalk. “Now Canadians with spinal cord injuries have the opportunity to experience ReWalk technology in a professional and caring environment, and then continue their training, and take their own device home when they purchase the new ReWalk Personal 6.0. Medical benefits continue beyond rehab while giving users increased self-esteem and independence.”
The London ABLE (Accelerated Bionic Locomotor Exercise) Program has been operated jointly since March 2013 by NeuPhysio Rehabilitation and Community Neuro Rehab, two highly regarded neuro-rehabilitation companies trained in the use of leading edge equipment, such as the Ekso 1 with Variable Assist Support, as well as its newest acquisition, the Rehabilitation ReWalk 2.0.
Able Bionics is helping people get back on their feet and walking using bionics, like Miguel Sanchez, who was senselessly shot by gunmen in a café attack four years ago. Miguel, now with a T8 spinal cord injury, and his family are fundraising for the purchase of a ReWalk P6 exoskeleton and will be joining several other people wearing different bionic devices at Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s Generator event on October 28th at Massey Hall in Toronto. Able Bionics was invited as a featured guest to showcase several of these incredible technologies to the audience.
See the pitch: