Answering a need without an Exoskeleton

While exoskeletons get the glamour headlines, a paraplegic engineer has quietly solved a more basic problem for those with spinal chord injuries (SCI): a quick and clean way to have a bowel movement. In fact, one famous survey of quadriplegics and paraplegics found that both groups ranked regaining walking movement below regaining bladder/bowel function.

SCI and other neurodegenerative conditions damage the nerves that control the proper functioning of the colon. As wheelchair users and their caretakers know all too well, the only remedy is a time-intensive combination of laxatives and finger stimulation. As an engineer, Erik Fugunt knew that was the very definition of a sub-optimal solution.

Fugunt, injured in a near fatal 2010 motorcycle accident, developed Paraflush, a bidet-like device to aid in bowel cleansing. It does not make life as easy as it once was, but according to the testimonials on his site, it is a great improvement over what those with SCI had been forced to accept.