Chicago Flyhouse Blog

Shirley Ryan Ability Lab: One Step At A Time

Posted by Flyhouse on Apr 18, 2017 10:27:23 AM

Light shimmers off the glass on the 19th floor of the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. A patient in a harness walks up the grand staircase with a slow, but unfaltering pace while a physical therapist monitors progress. It’s a new way of rehabilitation that proves recovery is truly one step at a time.

Taking a concept regularly used in the entertainment industry, Chicago Flyhouse designed a three-dimensional flying system bringing the above scenario to reality.

In past methods, patient recovery took place in environments more likened to a gym atmosphere. The patient would get on a treadmill or a stationary bike to mimic real-life scenarios. The Ability Lab looked to Flyhouse to break free from the typical and understand the true needs of a patient.

The two key elements of the design process were creating an environment where patients comfortably recovered without impugning the overall aesthetics of the room and taking the machine feel out of a system.

Ability Lab Staircase

The Strength and Endurance Lab integrates multiple stations where patients are asked to complete a different series of tasks whether it be maneuvering through an obstacle course or climbing a staircase.

Flyhouse designed a custom track that goes from the ground level to the landing of a staircase. It is there a patient transfers to the three-dimensional rig connected to Flyhouse’s system that follows the patient up and down the stairs. The physical therapist regulates the rate of speed with an ergonomically designed handheld wireless controller while another can monitor on a control panel located at the bottom of the stairs. If a patient were to lose balance, they instantly would hover securely in place in their harness.

Ability Lab Track

Integrated over three floors of the Ability Lab, the system is noticeable only by the four-points connecting from the ceiling to the spreader bar above the harness. The four motors used to operate are hidden and noiseless. In essence, Flyhouse took the machine out of it like promised.

Ability Lab Lines

By adapting a unique solution from Flyhouse’s specialty to better solve another problem, thousands of patients each year are beginning to forge a path to recovery in an environment befitting to them. 

 

 Click here to watch this video on the AbilityLab Harness System on YouTube

Topics: News, Performer Flying, Hoist System, Project Recaps, Flying Effects

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Ability Lab: Part One

Posted by Flyhouse on Mar 14, 2017 9:36:05 AM

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is a world-renowned medical center that specializes in the treatment of patients with debilitating issues through a model of integrated research, education and care. Each year, thousands of patients seek assistance from RIC to strengthen a part of their life and become whole again.

The previous location of RIC proved challenging in the center’s drive to provide more specialized care to accelerate the recovery process of its patients.

A decision was made to build a state-of-the-art center integrating the latest advancements in technology combined with the ability to conduct research all under the same roof. The building is 480 feet tall and provides 1.2 million square feet of floor space, including 800,000 square feet dedicated to clinical/research programs – nearly three times the current research space. The overall hospital is designed around five innovation centers and five differentiated labs including:

  • Think + Speak: "Speech & Cognition"
  • Arm + Hand: "Fine Motor"
  • Legs + Walking: "Gait & Locomotion"
  • Strength + Endurance: "Total Body"

RIC exterior

Within the new building, pioneering technologies are front and center.

In the Strength and Endurance Lab, patients are regaining their ability to walk by strengthening core muscles within the body. What if a system could be created where a patient could safely move around the room and climb stairs knowing they are secure the entire time while a physical therapist controls all of it using handheld wireless controller?

Chicago Flyhouse came into this project originally as a pro-bono consultant to examine existing challenges within the proposed solution already given to RIC and provide suggestions on creating an aesthetically pleasing product. It became apparent the look and overall solution would impugn on the aesthetics of the venue.

“The amount of structure to support it [first proposed solution] on the staircase would have made it feel mechanical which was not the overall goal,” said Mark Witteveen, founder of Chicago Flyhouse. “The goal was to not make it look like a machine and they [RIC] felt it wouldn’t be true to the environment they were trying to create.”

After a few months of consulting, RIC asked Flyhouse this question: If you were to create your own solution from scratch, what would it be?

Flyhouse's solution will now become the first of its kind in any hospital setting in the United States.

 

Topics: Performer Flying, Hoist System, Flyhouse Projects, Project Recaps, Flying Effects

Flyhouse Rigging Fact - Performer Flying

Posted by Flyhouse on Feb 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Topics: Performer Flying, Flying Effects, Rigging Facts

Flying Effects - Did You Know

Posted by Flyhouse on Oct 26, 2016 9:00:00 AM
Pulling off successful flying effects is something we love doing. When the flying effect is shown to a national audience, we really love it. To see the final product of our participation in an AT&T commercial, click on the photo below. 
 
Did You Know 10.26.16 AT&T Commercial.png

Topics: Performer Flying, Hoist System, Flying Effects