Sunday, June 13, 2010

Save the iBOT

Imagine for a moment that you can’t walk.  Don’t worry- it’s just pretend.  Then, imagine that one day you discover a device that gives you a higher quality of life and greater independence. Because of this device you once again go places and do things that usually only walking people can. You became re-integrated into the fabric of society, the everyday comings and goings of healthy people.  How would this change your life?

Then, imagine that after only a few years, the device no longer exists.

When we discover something that reduces human suffering and makes the world more accessible, it should not simply fade away because of red tape and bad government policy. But that’s exactly what is happening. The iBOT is fading away.

But there is a group of people working to change that. How can you help? First, join the Facebook group called Save the iBOT, which was founded by my friend Max Burt, an iBOT user from the UK. Soon, this group will be launching a website with more information about how you can join the effort. Once the new website is up and running, you’ll see announcements on Facebook and here at Enjoying the Ride.

Help us save the iBOT, because shouldn’t humanitarian progress be a one way street?

To read about my iBOT experiences, click here.

Soldier Gary Linfoot

Alan T. Brown, iBOT user and activist.

iBOT inventor Dean Kamen

Two videos of me in my iBOT:


  1. Hi Mitch,
    Good post and video clips.

  2. Mitch,
    Hope they can save the ibot. I don't have one (see my jealous eyes!) and I know I couldn't afford one (disability retired), but for your sake and others, I hope they continue. Maybe someday, I can find a second-hand one.

  3. Herrad,

    Thanks for your well wishes.


    You could afford one if medicare supplied them!


  4. yes cannot see Medicare paying for these, but they look wonderful

  5. Hey Mitch,

    I checked out the fan page for "save the ibot" He states that it was developed by J&J. It was actually invented by the brilliant Dean Kamen who also invented my Segway. He sold the technology to J&J.
    I couldn't find a place to let him know,but maybe Kamen would be a good place to send appeals to save this awesome device!
    (having trouble logging in, but it's me)

  6. Kim,

    You never know!


    If I'm not working with you on one cause I'm working with you on another! I think Max means it was "commercially developed" by J&J. Yes, our team is in contact with Dean Kamen, and he is highly motivated to save the iBOT, his prize invention.

  7. I must admit- I never thought about the ibot as something an MS'er would use. I've been off in my own world...

    This is great. Absolutely great!

  8. Hey Mitch, finally 'found' your blog via Herrad's (indeed thankyou wonders of the www!).

    Remember being amazed to see Sundance doco on Dean Kamen and Isabella Rosellini a few years ago where he demonstrated how amazing it is. Was dumbfounded then to learn that it was really one of a kind - dumbfounded again to learn it has been withdrawn from production.

    What a backtofront world we live in at times

  9. I have a unique situation. My sister-in-law, who was an ibot user, recently passed away. I have a friend who is a quadrapalegic who could benefit from using this device. The problem is that independence tech tells us that we cannot transfer the device because it needs to be calibrated to him and he needs to be trained and they will no longer perform these services. can someone in the community tell me if there are any resources for enabling my friend to use this life changing device which as it stands now is nothing more than a very expensive paperweight?