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'They can start walking': Robotics company helping children with mobility issues take steps forward

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A Canadian tech company is helping kids with mobility issues put their best foot forward with the help of a pair of revolutionary robotic legs.

The Ontario-based company Trexo Robotics is currently on a cross-country road show, highlighting their device – the robotic gait trainer.

"It's an exoskeleton that gets strapped on, tailored and fit to the child. And then once it's on, ideally, press play, and they can start walking," said Cory Schneider, a physiotherapist and customer success manager at Trexo.

The company serves families and children living with motor disabilities and physical impairments.

Seven-year-old Jahir Ajabo was one of the kids in Winnipeg Saturday who was to get some steps in with the robotic trainer.

He was born with cerebral palsy and has been using a wheelchair for most of his life.

"Just him being in a wheelchair, it's not what I expected when I gave birth," said his mom Kimoya Grant.

Trexo Robotics' robotic gait trainer. May 18, 2024. (Alexandra Holyk/CTV News Winnipeg)

With an extra push from the robotic legs, Ajabo is taking steps in a positive direction – 474 of them on Saturday alone.

 The revolutionary technology is carving a path for robotics in rehabilitation across the country.

"When you look at the market, there's nothing serving the most impaired children," said Schneider. "So that's, I think, where we have a big, big opportunity to help families and help kids, just give them the opportunities that their peers have."

It's those opportunities that Winnipeg therapy clinic Stable Connections wants to give to their clients.

"They would come, access therapy for some functional skills, and then build in repetition, kind of like a loaner library system. So they could take it home, have that added repetition, and then bring it back," said Sarah-Michelle Senécal, the owner and lead clinician at Stable Connections.

For people like Grant, she would love to see her son do this on a regular basis.

"Every parent wants their child to be able to walk," said Grant.

After their stop in Winnipeg, Trexo will head to Surrey, B.C. on May 25.

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