It was the first time he’d ridden a bike since he was paralyzed by a spinal cord injury in 2013.
After months of training on a stationary bike, Team MYOLYN’s paraplegic pilot pedaled around the track at the Southwest Rec Center, drawing an immediate crowd of supporters. The scheduled testing of the team’s equipment was the final step of preparation for a premier event coming up next month – the world’s first Cybathlon, an international competition that will promote assistive technologies that help people with disabilities.
The first step was engineering.
MYOLYN’s functional electric stimulation (FES) bicycle was developed at the University of Florida by Ebaugh professor Warren Dixon and his student Matt Bellman in the Nonlinear Robotics and Controls research group.
After earning his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, Bellman leased the rights to the technology from UF and formed MYOLYN, a company that creates custom rehabilitation equipment for people who have had spinal cord injuries or disorders. MYOLYN’s FES bicycle allows someone without volitional control of their muscles to exercise their muscles, by stimulating peripheral nerves. This can reverse atrophy; reduce spasticity; increase strength, blood flow, range of motion and bone density; and improve cardiovascular health. The technology is transforming physical therapy solutions for people with spinal cord injuries and disorders.