Löfte: entrepreneurship that improves physical health


  Löfte is a company engaged in the development of products aimed at improving human physical health. Currently, it is developing an exoskeleton that can improve the walk of the elder person. Israel Luis and Bryan Rivera, graduates of Mechatronics Engineering, Jose Joya, student of Industrial Engineering, Araceli Luna, student of Management and Senior Management, Consuelo Cano, graduated in Industrial Design and Andrea Cordova, student of Advertising, are responsible for this social undertaking that develops technological devices oriented to the improvement of the health of the people.

What is the project about?

The first product, Nåd, developed by the team is an ankle exoskeleton that assists the movement of plantar flexion during the stage of propulsion of the march, facilitating and improving its efficiency. This assistance represents a saving in the energy required for the walk, which allows greater ease and autonomy for the movement. This device is oriented to solve the specific need of the market of the elderly, either by the lack of coordination or weakness in the muscles.

The ankle exoskeleton is distinguished by its three distinctive and unique features. First, it will have a smart controllable mechanism and a rigid anatomical structure that will support the leg. Second, it will have inertial sensors that will detect the phase of the march through a control algorithm to generate an adequate assistance depending on the speed and slope in which the march is made. Finally, it will be based on a mechanism that anatomically adheres to the footwear and does not create discomfort at the time of use. For this, a design that considers the anatomical degrees of the foot and leg has been used, in addition to the volumes of each segment.

What differentiates your project from other similar initiatives?

Most developed exoskeletons are based on engines and other actuators that make the device heavy. The exoskeleton that we are going to develop is based on a system storing the same energy that is done when walking and will release it in the phases of the march where more assistance is required. In addition, it would be one of the first exoskeletons that will allow pronation and supination movements, which, although they are not widely used in the walk, are widely used at the moment of running. On the other hand, the exoskeleton that we are doing will adapt to any type of foot, that is, no matter the size or shape of the user’s foot, the exoskeleton can be adapted to everything.

What were your motivations to develop the project?

In developed countries, the elderly have a better quality of life, because the state look after them. In our country, this sector is sloppy, that is why we believe that with technology we can improve their quality of life and grant them autonomy and independence, together with the promotion of an active and healthy lifestyle, through motor exercises. We believe that our product will have a great global impact and offer a real solution to the needs of the elderly.

What needs of the population does it satisfy?

The elderly are a public that has not been adequately cared for until today: they make up 12% of the world’s population and researches project that by 2050 it will have grown at least 22%. Above all, the main problems attributed to them are disability and dependence. The specialists recommend that they carry out constant physical activities, but, since they have weak muscles and little coordination, there is great inefficiency in their march and great risks of falls and injuries.

Thus, we are developing a highly reliable intelligent technological device that grants autonomy, stability and strength in the walking of the elderly with locomotive difficulties to increase their independence, ease of mobilization, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. With this vision, we have explored different fields of sciences such as human physiology, robotics and industrial design, to achieve a comprehensive approach to product development. For this reason, the team is made up of engineers, business professionals and consultants in the medical and entrepreneurial areas, with the main objectives of the continuous improvement of the product and its launch to the market.

Tell us about the interdisciplinary work of the group

Israel is the main person responsible for the project and who created the product idea, and was inspired by the exchange to Sweden where he acquired enough knowledge in biomechanics, and developed it in his undergraduate thesis. Jose is responsible for the executive and communications operations of the project, thanks to him, we have made contacts with the press. Araceli is the strategist who generates ideas of investment and operations for our team in order to bring the company to sustainable financial levels in the future. Bryan and Consuelo are responsible for the functional design of the product. Andrea is responsible for the advertising of the company through surveys and marketing strategies.

Have you presented your project at an international event?

In recent months, we have been able to participate in the entrepreneurship camp organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT, along with another 35 teams from all over the world, where we were the only Peruvian representative selected. In this space, we were able to learn the methodology of Bill Aulet, manager of the entrepreneurship area of MIT, focused especially on startups, and they also were in contact to important international contacts for their project. In addition, Löfte has been chosen among the winning teams of the fifth generation of StartUp Peru, in the category Innovative Entrepreneurships, with which we became creditors of a fund of 50 thousand soles and the possibility to integrate a specialized incubator that would allow us get the final development of our prototype. Finally, we were finalists in the 12th edition of the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas. Such event brought together 4,679 young people from 40 countries who presented 3,941 innovative proposals. (Source: www.lofte-innovation.com)