Arm Monkey is part toy, part exercise machine, that makes rehabilitation fun for infants and toddlers (6-24 months). It is aimed towards providing arm rehabilitation for young children with neuromuscular conditions that can be improved with arm exercises. Arm Monkey consists of a system of colorful buttons placed in front of the child. The buttons are movable and can be positioned to best suit a child’s body size and rehabilitation needs. Then with a series of activities full of sounds, music, and lights, the Arm Monkey takes the child on an adventure, encouraging her/him to push different buttons. A button that needs to be pressed will light up along with sound and musical cues. Once the child moves his/her arm and presses the button, he/she receives rewarding audio/visual cues from Arm Monkey. In this adventure, the pace of the game picks up as the child progresses through the game. Artificial Intelligence algorithms in Arm Monkey continuously monitor the progress of the child and adapt the pace and difficulty level to the child’s level of performance…constantly challenging, but not frustrating the child…nudging him/her to continuously improve.
Similar concepts exist for helping workout routines of adults. Unfortunately, they are not exactly smart, and not very fun, even for adults, let alone children. What is innovative about this device is that it is designed for arm rehabilitation, and that too, for very young children (6-24) months who do not have the skills to run a rehabilitation/exercise system. Moreover, children can use it independently once it is set up. No such device exists for very young children. Even more importantly, this device does not offer routine, boring exercises like conventional systems, especially those for children. Instead, Arm Monkey is powered by Artificial Intelligence algorithms that adjust the pace and difficulty level every second based on the child’s performance and past history of performance.
The Arm Monkey device can be used for infants and toddlers suffering from neuromuscular disorders that require arm rehabilitation, such as Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s Palsy and pediatric stroke. Arm rehabilitation for these children has already been shown to work. But they usually involve a costly visit to the therapist, or exhausting involvement with parents. The toys that are available are not very motivating. With Arm Monkey, children can receive fun-filled rehabilitation in the comfort of their home, every day! This can maximize the level of their recovery!
There is a significant market size for Arm Monkey. Many babies are born with neuromuscular disorders that require arm rehabilitation. Considering only one of these conditions, i.e., Cerebral Palsy, approximately 10,000 children are born with Cerebral Palsy in the US every year. The technology to manufacture the device is already here. Manufacturing involves commercially available single-board computers, simple electronic circuits, cables, connectors, switches, printed circuit board fabrication, soldering, crimping, injection molding, and painting.