Genius out of desperation: Creates an AI exoskeleton for his paralyzed daughter

Gianluca Riccio


From a personal project to help his paralyzed daughter, Bodo Hoenen launches Nolej, an edtech startup that uses AI to teach anything efficiently.

When the daughter of Bodo Hoenen, Lorelei, was struck by a rare degenerative muscle condition, the French father found himself faced with a reality in which traditional medicine offered few solutions.

Refusing to accept the status quo, Hoenen channeled his desperation into innovation, helping Lorelei and creating Noley, an edtech startup using artificial intelligence to revolutionize the world of learning. As? Let's see together.

A father's feat for a daughter: from a rare disease to the teaching revolution with AI

The story of Bodo Hoenen and his daughter Lorelei is a tale of challenges and innovation. Facing her daughter's diagnosis (a degenerative muscle condition that left her paralyzed in her left limb), Hoenen experienced first-hand the limitations that even modern medicine still faces.

The lack of effective solutions pushed him to look for alternatives, informing himself and discovering the brain-controlled exoskeletons still being developed in research laboratories. And he didn't just wait for their future availability.

The birth of Nolej

The first prototype of the AI ​​exoskeleton

Nolej is a Lille-based startup that stands out for two revolutionary products. The first is an AI education tool that promises efficient learning, customizable according to any learning objective. The second, already a source of revenue, is an AI exoskeleton, originally developed for Hoenen's daughter.

How do these two fields of application “coexist”? What is the relationship between them?

It all stems from a method developed by Hoenen with the help of experts at CERN in Geneva specialized in the processing of brain signals. The method, based on a rapid and targeted education and training model, allowed the development and configuration of a functioning exoskeleton within a year. The same method has become a software that now forms the core of the education sector, under the name NolejAI.

And it works? 50.000 teachers between France and the USA (many are already active users) say yes. NolejAI has already generated contracts worth €1 million in 2023.

Daughter exoskeleton
Lorelei smiles with her exoskeleton

Whatever happens, it will be a success: a daughter who smiles

Regardless of his business achievements, Nolej's impact on Lorelei's life is immeasurable. The whole story, upon closer inspection, is a powerful example of how desperation and necessity can transform into innovation and progress, not only for a family, but for the entire community.

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