My name is Werner O. Merlo; I am the owner & CEO of MBI., and inventor of the Robo-Flex technology. Although my professional background is in research chemistry, I undertook the challenge of stabilizing a Swiss sunshade umbrella, which is designed without a centre post. The friction ball joint used in this umbrella did not hold the product in place under windy conditions, so I invented and patented a 2D ball positioning system in 1995 and formed a company. By refining the locking system I created and patented a 3D locking ball joint in 2000.
Encouraged by the enthusiasm and advice of Peter Camp, Chief of Prosthetics at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, MBI developed the Robo-Wrist, which has since been fitted to soldiers at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC. The Robo-Wrist allows amputees great freedom and dexterity, as it can be positioned and locked at any angle available to a normal wrist, and permits the rotation required to drive a car, row a boat, play sports like hockey, golf and baseball, or engage in other physical activities. After seven prototypes, ten years of research and development, and a two year trial at Walter Reed Medical Center, the device is ready for the world market.
The viability of the recently patented CIVIC system for the field of robotic joint technology has been recognized by scientists at John Hopkins University and by MD Robotics, manufacturers of the Canadarm. Implementing the CIVIC technology into a myoelectric wrist will also set a new milestone in prosthetics.
MBI has established ties and business relationships with independent scientists and researchers including personnel at Walter Reed Medical Center, Pentagon (Department of Defense), Boeing Company, NASA, Applied Physics Lab at John Hopkins University, Ann Arbor University, University of Alberta and MD Robotics.