Toronto’s Trexo Robotics adds new “Iron Man” leg attachment to exoskeleton design

UofT duo wins first prize for new robotic "Iron Man" leg attachment on their walker designed for wheel chair-bound children suffering from disabilities.

0 January 8, 2018

The entrepreneurs behind U of T Engineering startup Trexo Robotics have come a long way since first developing their robotic exoskeleton for children suffering from Cerebral Palsy.

Trexo Robotics exoskeleton

Manmeet Maggu and Rahul Udasi, pictured here shortly after completing U of T’s Creative Destruction Lab accelerator program, took home first prize in a Sunnybrook Hospital pitch competition. Photo credit: Chris Sorensen.

At the end of last year, the co-founders Manmeet Maggu and Rahul Udasithis won first prize in a pitch competition organized by the philanthropic arm of Sunnybrook Hospital in partnership with U of T’s Health Innovation Hub, or H2i, incubator, among others.

The duo designed and developed a walker-like device equipped with a robotic “Iron Man” leg attachment suited for wheel chair-bound children suffering from disabilities. Maggu and Udasithis hope the device will allow these children to escape the confines of a wheelchair.

“The prize is going to be really helpful in enabling us to reach a commercial point,” said Maggu of the roughly $35,000 that Trexo will take home.

“The next batch of products we make, I’ll be taking one back to India for my nephew.”

That would be nine-year-old Praneit, who suffers from cerebral palsy and inspired Maggu and Udasi to build a robotic exoskeleton prototype while studying engineering at the University of Waterloo. The idea ultimately led to the launch of a promising startup after the pair arrived at U of T.

“Our product is really unique,” said Maggu. “There’s a health care aspect, computer science and the engineering, so we benefited a lot from being involved with all these different accelerators at U of T.”

Following Trexo’s completion of CDL’s rigorous nine-month program earlier this year, Maggu and Udasi left to participate in New York’s Techstars IoT accelerator program, which Maggu says helped to further fine-tune Trexo’s business plan.

This move may help open the doors into the U.S. market, specifically at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“They saw our device and were really excited about it,” said Maggu. “We’re planning to start pilot studies with them early next year. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of the largest children’s rehabilitation programs in the U.S, and Maggu adds that getting recognition from them was really amazing for the status of the Trexo device.

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