The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, is partnering with a firm, Portescap, to create robots for people with arm impairment. The Arm Rehabilitation Robot, Arebo, can be used to train individual joint movements in the shoulder and elbow in persons with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, such as stroke, arthritis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease
The robot is designed to be connected to either arm of the user.
Portescap is a motion technology firm that origniated in Switzerland and is recognised as an expert in miniature motors and precision motion control solutions. The project is supported by Christian Medical College, Vellore’s CSR.
Sujatha Srinivasan, faculty and head of TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development, and Sivakumar Balasubramanian, head of Department of Bioengineering at CMC Vellore are leading the project. The robot is a tool for therapists to remotely monitor performance and plan therapy.
Ms. Sujatha Srinivasan said the project drew from bioengineering and clinical expertise of CMC. The CSR support covered the research and development cost, she said, adding that such support was crucial to achieve the eventual goal of providing quality devices at affordable price.
Mr. Sivakumar said, “We expect to have a simple, compact, easy-to-use and safe robot ready for large scale clinical trials through this collaboration.” It required understanding of how the device fits into routine clinical practice and added value to patient and clinicians to bring the device into the market, he added.
For another project, the institute has partnered with the Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, to develop a lower limb exoskeleton to train persons who have survived stroke and spinal cord injury. Sourav Rakshit of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Madras is leading the project.