Personal Robot Jaco is a technical aid for persons with limited or no hand function. The gripper of the robot performs all kinds of activities that the user no longer can perform manually. Jaco usually is mounted on the user’s wheelchair and can due to its personalised control methods very efficiently be operated. The number of activities that the user independently can perform through its use is almost endless. Most important are the activities that allow the user to live as independently and autonomously as possible – e.g eating and drinking, picking up objects, kitchen activities or self-care.
Jaco was designed for persons with very limited or even completely lacking hand function. Supportive technical aids like dynamic arm supports are no option for these persons. Users commonly are persons challenged by neurological or neuromuscular disorders in an advanced stage. For safe and effective use a basic understanding of its functioning as well as visual capacities should be available.
Kinova Rehab at Montreal, Canada developed Jaco. Focal Meditech did in close cooperation adaptations for the European market. In addition, Focal is able to supply mounting systems and do actual wheelchair mounting and system integration.
User specific and dependent of the used wheelchair are provided wheelchair integration and assembly by Focal, as well as instruction and delivery. All this is based on a high-quality research with all those involved followed by an advice. Focal acts to several European countries as supports in the provision and maintenance of Jaco and also provides numerous additional components such as swing away and tilting mechanisms and controls.
Jaco is a so-called robot manipulator, a robot that is meant for handling and manipulation of a variety of objects that are required in daily life. You can think about eating, drinking, putting on or off your glasses, doing activities in the kitchen, offering help with the PC, opening doors etcetera. Jaco makes numerous of daily activities achievable. This way, it is often possible for users to spend a number of hours independently at home, at a daycare center or at a workplace. Without having to rely on caregivers and without the need of having a third party present in their homes. Jaco makes it possible to reach and grasp objects of 1 - 1.5 kg (depending on the reach). Technically speaking, Jaco is a lightweight seven-axis robot with a gripper that has three fingers. The technical aid is mounted on a wheelchair where a lot of attention is used for a placement that is efficient.
Controlling a personalized robot is per definition a challenge. Focal gained a lot of experience when it comes to controlling robots and spent a lot of attention to develop new operating modes and used this knowledge on Jaco. Jaco can be used without having to switch a lot and without having to consult numerous menus. Because of this, the user can concentrate on the movement of the gripper. The user can really focus at the movements of the gripper of the robot and its use is truly intuitive. Jaco is light and therefore easy portable. The aid can be always available on a wheelchair and can be used in very different places. Jaco has become a tried and tested aid, which is of beneficial use to many users both nationally as internationally.
- Easy to operate
- Lighter and stronger than any other personal robot through the use of carbonfiber and advanced electronics
- Unique gripper with three fingers and possibilities to use two or thee fingers for better grip
- Possibilities to use pre-stored movements
- Large individual configurability
- Low weight (4,5 kg.) and therefore easy to put on/off the wheelchair
- Limited weight which does not affect the wheelchair’s driving characteristics
- Limited volume
- Normally does not add to the outer dimensions of the wheelchair
- Very low energy consumption. Under normal conditions the arm can be used all day long
- Several options in operation and control; individual adaptations are always possible
- Good after sales services
Marieke uses a Top/Help device and a robot manipulator. A lot of technology, but it is not without a reason- the aids allow Marieke to have a reasonable independency despite her significant disabilities.
"My name is Marieke. I am 31 years old and live in a ‘Fokus home’ in Eindhoven. I work at a communications company that is specialist in care, welfare and work. Naturally, I am also there as an expert by experience since I have a lot to do with these sectors. To talk about my aids: on the left I have a Top/Help that assists me to eat independently. I own this aid for several years (approximately 7 years). Since October last year, I also have a robot manipulator, the Jaco. This is placed on the right side of my wheelchair and I am able to control it with my joystick.
I have a progressive muscle disease (SMA). Therefore, I have no strength in my body and need, in terms of physical care, assistance everywhere. Because of the Top/Help, I am able to eat independently. The Jaco offers me even more possibilities such as helping me with drinking, turning lights on and off, picking-up things and put them away, getting something out of the fridge and even to make ‘selfies’ with my phone ☺. I am much more independent again and less dependent of others because of those two devices. It gives me a more freely feeling.
Focal to me, is an organization that is very customer friendly. They try their absolute best to think of suitable solutions and always help direct when something is broken of not functioning correctly. Personal attention is at Focal paramount, which I notice as a customer and that actually makes a difference."