The Hibbot is an innovative walking aid grown out of the fruitful partnership between the clinical background of a pediatric physiotherapist with more than 25 years of experience, Ria Cuppers , and the technical know-how of engineer and serial-inventor, Dirk Wenmakers. CPO Jos Seyler provided the knowledge to produce the braces needed to connect the children with the Hibbot and Philppe Caers joined the team 1 year ago with a mission to get the Hibbot to as many children as possible.
Experience learns the physiotherapist that is very difficult to make the right muscles (esp. hip extensors) work and become strong enough in patients with CP.
During sessions, the therapist can facilitate a nice walking pattern by giving the right manual input and support. Without this support, overuse of flexion in the legs, co-contraction becomes a habitual way of walking. As a therapist, however, you are not present 24/7 with your patient to give the right input and necessary support. This experience and frustration started the search for doing better and brought the clinical field in contact with the technological know-how. As as result of the much appreciated professional guidance and financial support received from the Rotary Club Hasselt-Herckenrode, we were able to further develop our business strategy and launch the first 3 Hibbot prototypes between 2013 and 2014.
By clinical experiences and continuous evaluation, the Hibbot underwent ongoing improvements and became a valuable product with the support of various partners.
Our latest support came from imec through the iStart program and makes it possible to take the steps needed to further develop the product and the company to get the best product to as many children as possible worldwide.
Clinical interest on gait parameters, metabolic cost, effect on activity U.L.,balance, activity and participation level are topic for further research and planned to be started in the near future.