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IIT Jodhpur researchers develop a robot trainer that can assist in limb-related rehabilitation

IIT Jodhpur researchers develop a robot trainer that can assist in limb-related rehabilitation

Various factors, including age, disease, injuries, strokes, and polio, can cause limb disabilities. In India, there are over five million severely disabled people. Several robotic devices are being developed to aid therapists in treating patients. Researchers propose a new robot manipulator capable of complex functional movements. Physiotherapists are always in demand and must assist patients whenever possible.

  • There are over five million people in India who are severely disabled.
  • They propose a new robot manipulator that can perform motions suitable for all three planes of human movement.
  • It allows manual limb rehab with the knee and hip joints sitting.
  • They were designing a robot that could move around very well, enabling it to provide the range of motion the patients needed for their rehabilitation.
  • I look forward to the design being realized as a physical prototype, tested with therapists and users, and eventually put to clinical use.”

Limb disabilities are very serious and are caused by many different causes, such as age, disease, injuries, strokes, and polio. There are over five million people in India who are severely disabled.

Rehabilitation of the lower limbs, particularly for gait, is faced with numerous problems. There are many problems associated with limb mobility rehabilitation, especially because it takes a lot of time and therapists are not enough to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population like the elderly. Several robotic devices are being developed to enable therapists to treat patients more effectively.

Many robotic systems can now do certain operations like bending, extending and transferring limbs. Many robotic devices are available today, but they can only treat patients by moving the body horizontally – moving the legs to the right and left sides of the body. Flexibility in sagittal (left and right) and coronal (front and back) planes is vital for limbs to function correctly.

Researchers from the IIT Jodhpur, the CNRS and the universities at Belgorod State Technological University, Russia, Russia, have proposed a system that can perform complex functional movements.

They propose a new robot manipulator that can perform motions suitable for all three planes of human movement. The feasibility of this design is proved by implementing a computer-aided design scheme that controls the motion of limbs by making movements that the therapists suggest are necessary for patient mobility.

The robot could perform useful rehabilitation movements, such as moving limbs away from their midline, flexing the legs, and turning a hip and a knee.

“The robot we designed could help people who are paralyzed or those who have spinal cord injuries that have affected their lower limbs,” said Jayant Kumar Mohanta, a professor in the mechanics’ department at IIT Jodhpur.

The system, he said, is very simple to design, and it is easy to create and modify. It allows manual limb rehab with the knee and hip joints sitting. Designing a robot that can move around very well enabled it to provide the range of motion the patients needed for their rehabilitation.

Physiotherapists are always busy and need to help people whenever possible, but the availability of therapists for certain disabilities is often not adequate, and many people do not have a therapist available to provide them with the kind of help they need. “I look forward to the design being realized as a physical prototype, tested with therapists and users, and eventually put to clinical use.”

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