Partnerships and Innovation

Office of Partnerships and Innovation
Office of Partnerships and Innovation

Robotic innovation gives Canadian Olympians a head start

Article Date: July 19, 2012

Own the Podium uses KINARM to target concussion in Olympic athletes

For immediate release

Thursday, July 19, 2012

KINGSTON/CALGARY – Own the Podium has added a Queen's University research innovation to its toolkit for grooming Olympic champions.

KINARM, a robotic technology discovered by neuroscientist and inventor Dr. Stephen Scott and developed by PARTEQ Innovations spinoff company BKIN Technologies, is now the centrepiece of trailblazing concussion research funded by OTP at the University of Calgary Sports Medicine Centre.

Maclean’s magazine recently profiled the KINARM and its role in the Calgary research project in "Team Canada’s gold medal secrets," highlighting Own the Podium initiatives for improving athletes’ performance at upcoming Olympic games.

Combining robotics, virtual reality and software to objectively assess the effects of brain injury, the KINARM has been used by a team of Calgary-based sports researchers to assess the baseline brain function of more than 300 Olympic and varsity athletes. Follow-up assessments are then done on athletes who subsequently suffer a sport concussion injury.

For example, the researchers told Maclean’s about a bobsledder who scored 81 per cent in initial KINARM testing. After a crash, the athlete’s test results slid to 63 per cent, including a drop in peripheral vision. The athlete eventually recovered.

With the help of KINARM Standard Tests, the group has been able to objectively identify decline in brain function following a concussion, says Anne Vivian-Scott, President and CEO of BKIN.

"While the final results of this study won’t be known until at least November, early anecdotal evidence has shown subtle yet distinct differences in athletes’ brain function following concussion," she says.

The BKIN technology has been used extensively in research into the effects of stroke. To date the company has installed 35 KINARM's at universities and research institutes around the world.

"The KINARM is a wonderful example of discovery research being transformed into a product with the potential to change lives," says John Molloy, President and CEO of PARTEQ. "If early indications are confirmed in the final results of the ongoing study, KINARM will be a very useful tool in the assessment of concussion in athletes at all levels, from youth through to professional sports leagues."


Anne Vivian-Scott
President and CEO
BKIN Technologies Ltd.
P: 613. 533. 6000 ext 75513

About BKIN Technologies:
BKIN Technologies is a leading developer of robotic technologies for probing brain function and dysfunction. BKIN’s patented KINARM product line enables basic and clinical researchers to explore brain function in humans as they interact with complex mechanical and visual worlds created by robotic and software tools. KINARM Standard Tests enable clinical researchers to objectively measure sensory, motor and cognitive impairments resulting from brain injury and disease. The company is headquartered in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.