The motorized exoskeleton
The solution was a motorized exoskeleton that could assist Mangor's loss of movement in his arms. Mangor could now perform activities such as eating, drinking and brushing his teeth again. The motorized exoskeleton was so helpful to Mangor that the brothers wanted to help more people in the same situation. By involving neurologist Tore Meisingset, specialist occupational therapist Mari-Anne Myrberget and specialist physiotherapist Ole Petter Norvang, the motorized exoskeleton was further developed. The team had a version made for one of Tore's patients, Per Waatland.
Foto: Ole Martin Wold/NTB
The start-up journey
The new team of committed students worked on building the company in parallel with their studies. They invested time and energy in improving the design, technology and usability of the aid. But they knew that if the project was to become something the team could make a living from after graduating, they also had to build a sustainable business. The business plan, marketing plan and funding applications were written. After a lot of work with technology development and organizational building, the company Vilje Bionics was founded.
Foto: Scott Aleksander Bekke
The need for a new solution
The project was started in 2015 when Mangor Lien was diagnosed with ALS. A relentless disease that cuts the connection between the brain and muscles. For Mangor, the disease began to paralyze his arms and hands. In a jungle of health personnel and assistive aids, Mangor searched for a device that could compensate for his loss of function in his arms and hands. He found no solution. Together with his brother, Professor Emeritus of Robotics, the brothers began making their own assistive device.
Foto: Sverre Chr. Jarild. Teknisk Ukeblad
The road to the market begins
The brothers and the team saw potential in the aid. They saw that the opportunities were great and a vision to help was formed. With the vision that disability should not prevent participation in society, Terje Lien contacted the School of Entrepreneurship at NTNU. Here, a group of committed students took over the baton of the founders who started the project. The market potential was examined and demand was confirmed. The expanded team became an interdisciplinary composition of technologists, health professionals and entrepreneurs. The new team took on the task of developing technology that will expand people's physical ability
Foto: Stein Roar Leite
The company Vilje Bionics was founded to continue the project work with the goal of commercializing the unique assistive device.
The team of students became full-time employees and moved the offices from Trondheim to Aleap in Oslo.
The company has grown to four people working in the company full time. The team has travelled around Norway to give presentations, demos and participated in trade fairs. The result has been a lot of enthusiasm from user organizations, users and the media.
The company works continuously to ensure that all people can live independent lives, at home or at work.