MIT scientist tackles back pain by creating a robotic chair. The chair corrects posture and makes you move. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on May 3, 2014.
About this project
Hello everyone, why don't we get rid of the pesky back pain that hurts you and me. Together, we can do this. Please help me achieve the goal!!
YOUR Q: Why do we need another chair?
SIMON's A: Because it is not another chair, but an active robotic supporting system!
Be a part of the revolution: Now the ChairBot has risen and ready to serve you. With your help, we have a good chance to open a new chapter of sitting, where a robot suggests a new position when you forget to take care of your body: it's an active robotic supporting system. Please help me achieve the goal.
The following are the reasons why the ChairBot is different.
The patented ChairBot is the only ACTIVE CHAIR in the world:
- It actively prevents back pain by spreading the stress points of the body by making you change your sitting posture frequently. (That's BEFORE your back or legs hurt! The human body is not made to stay fixed in one position.)
- Also, it lets you keep the healthy curve of your spine, as in a standing posture; really!
- You can stand with the comfort of sitting - alllllllll day long.
- It can be used as a conventional chair when desired.
- It went through a rigorous user testing, for durability and safety.
- It has endorsements from several back pain doctors.
- What more do you want?
YOUR Q: If it were that great, why haven't I heard of this before?
SIMON's A: Because it has been kept as a secret until recently. I have just released it to the press and posted videos on Youtube. Here is a recent media coverage:
Here is a more recent coverage by Boston Business Journal:
How the ChairBot gets rid of the back pain:
To eliminate back pain, the ChairBot features a unique split seat. The moving halves of the seat let the user sit on one side and stand on the opposite leg. The basic design of frequent alternation prevents trauma to the spine caused by maintaining a single posture for an extended period of time. In addition, the chair encourages the proper degree of extension of the spine, as in a standing posture. That is because you are practically standing, while half of your body weight is supported. For a more detailed description visit www.robilis.com.
Just in case you didn't notice how bad sitting is, here are some fun facts:
- Women who sat more than six hours a day were 37% more likely to die prematurely than women who sat for less than three hours, while the early-death rate for men was 18% higher. - American Cancer Society (Patel et al., 2010).
- Increased mortality among people who sat longer at home than those who didn't. - The American College of Cardiology (Chomistek et al., 2013)
- Sitting hours positively correlate with lower back pain (Mendelek et al., 2011).
- Over a lifetime, 80% of people have lower back pain (Zhang et al., 2009).
- 26% of American adults (48.5M) have back pain of at least one day in duration every three months (Deyo et al., 2006).
- 41% of adults aged between 26 and 44 years reported having back pain in the previous 6 months.
- Prolonged, static sitting postures are likely to aggravate a preexisting low back condition or instigate the development of a new condition (Kelsey & White, 1980; Lis et al., 2007; Battié et al., 2002)
If you are interested in knowing more about back pain and its prevalence, let me know. I can give you all the scientific journal articles quoted here, and more. I am good at this because it's a part of my job as a neuroscientist.
ChairBot is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Adjust the height of your ChairBot: Before using the ChairBot, adjust it to your height. The figure below shows that you need to be able to stand straight when you are in the alternating position: this is the height of your ChairBot.
2. You can manually raise or fold the half seats by pressing the button on each side of the crossbar (arrow in the figure below).
3. Automatic alternation: To change the sitting position every few minutes, set the timer by pressing the little button on the controller (see the controller figure below), and press the "Alternate" button. The ChairBot allows you to alternate every 10 sec ~ 10 minutes; you decide this.
The ChairBot went through some of the most punishing tests. This includes a destructive test. In this test, a 250lb, 6ft 3in person jumps and lands on one of the half seats; even after this, the ChairBot functions fine. I have been using the ChairBot for more than a year, no problem (this is the sole desk chair at home). The body of the ChairBot is mostly made out of stainless steel: it is a beast to beat; you can try.
This is the part that has captured most of our attention so far. We have been especially focused on the possibility of something getting caught between the half seats. Now the ChairBot is free of these worries. The solution? The strength of the motor is just to be able to lift the seats but not strong enough to hurt you. So, even when everything fails, the ChairBot is not able to hurt you. You can see this in the video below.
We have the following gifts for your contributions:
Custom laser cut cards
MIT spin-off group "DangerAwesome" custom-made thank you card (or any other design you like). Surprise your loved one with this custom laser cut card:
Laser-etched 3D crystal model of the ChairBot
Own a 3D model of the ChairBot in a smaller form kept in crystal.
ChairBot Foot Stool
This is a height-adjustable foot stool designed for the ChairBot. Of course you can use any other foot stool for your ChairBot. But the ChairBot Foot Stool has the right size and height adjustable range (and other patent-pending capabilities) specifically designed to complement the ChairBot.
**Final thoughts: It's 2014, and we still suffer from sitting-related back pain; that's NOT ACCEPTABLE!! Please help me get rid of your pesky back pain. Together, we can do this!!**
Youtube version of ChairBot is here:
Risks and challenges
After the conception of the idea of the ChairBot, there have been a lot of obstacles that I had to overcome. The most difficult part was to make mechanical parts that could withstand the punishing abuse of possibly naughty users, including teenagers and children. After numerous revisions and prototypes, the current Chairbot is as solid as a rock. So in terms of technology, there are few risks and challenges. Another challenge has been the production cost. Since there are no stock components that I can grab and use, I had to find manufacturers that were willing to work with me to make the components at reasonable prices. For some components I had to go outside of the US; negotiating with these people has been a challenge to get the price right. I have to mention this folks: the Kickstarter price ($2700) is a steal (general release price: $3700); offering this low price is another challenge that I have to cope with. But then again, I am a scientist with a lot of backings from MIT community; I will thrive in these challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Unfortunately, all the parts are custom made, which costs a lot. As it becomes mass produced the price will come down.
- (30 days)