Aergo is a smarter postural support system for wheelchair users, empowering people to be more independent in their daily lives. The system has a network of air cells that detects pressure changes and adjusts automatically to provide continuous support as the user moves. It is the first device of its kind to give users more control over their own posture with a remote-control and expandable frame that can be tailored to fit a range of body shapes.
Aergo is the brainchild of CEO, Sheana Yu, a London-based design engineer. Having suffered with scoliosis throughout her life, Sheana is on a mission to create inclusive products that empower people with postural needs to be more independent.
The product was originally inspired by working with Special Educational Needs schools during a two-year postgraduate degree in Global Innovation Design that Sheana completed at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. She observed children being manhandled into wheelchairs with restrictive and stigmatising equipment during a research trip and wanted to find a better solution for kids to manage their posture.
Based on initial user-tests with neuromuscular patients from sites such as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Aergo provides an opportunity to offload clinicians and carers by enabling wheelchair users to gain more independence through its user-friendly design. The remote control features a cycle mode that creates a massage effect by redistributing air around the system as well as memory settings that lets users recall their favourite presets.
The next steps for Aergo will focus on working with clinical departments and research centres to validate the product’s user benefits. The team, which is based at the Royal College of Art’s startup incubator, Innovation RCA, is aiming to build a community of families and organisations to help shape the future of Aergo. The project, known as Aergo Lab, includes running a series of creative workshops for children and their families to play, learn and discover with the help of Aergo’s latest prototypes.
Aergo is a finalist in the Women Entrepreneurs in Health Tech Category part of the AXA Health Tech & You Awards.