IIT Jodhpur researcher designs robotic trainers for lower limb rehabilitation

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IIT Jodhpur researcher Dr. Jayant Kumar Mohanta has designed a robotic lower limb rehabilitation trainer that can be used for physiotherapy.

IIT Jodhpur researcher Dr. Jayant Kumar Mohanta has designed a robotic lower limb rehabilitation trainer that can be used for physiotherapy.

By India Today Web Desk: IIT Jodhpur Researcher Dr. Jayant Kumar Mohanta, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, along with other co-researchers, have designed robotic trainers that can be used in physiotherapy to treat lower limb disabilities.

Limb disability is a serious disease among Indians and is caused by age-related conditions, physical deformities, accidents, strokes, poliomyelitis, etc.

“The robotic trainer we have designed will help provide physiotherapy to paralytic patients and those with spinal cord injuries that have disrupted their lower limb functions,” the research leader said.

NEED ROBOTIC TRAINERS

Rehabilitation of the lower limbs, especially for walking recovery, is time-consuming and sometimes involves several physiotherapists.

Recently, there has been interest in designing robotic devices for lower limb rehabilitation. In robotic rehabilitation, the therapist only has to supervise and set up the device.

The understanding gained from this research was shared in an article in the International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems.

HOW IIT JODHPUR’S ROBOTIC TRAINERS ARE ADVANCED ADVANCED

Most existing robotic systems treat patients by performing movements only in the sagittal plane – the imaginary plane that divides the body into left and right parts.

For full limb movement, sagittal movement is not sufficient and movement in the transverse (upper and lower body) and coronal (forward and backward) planes is also essential.

The researcher from IIT Jodhpur has proposed a robot manipulator arrangement capable of providing ankle motion in all three planes i.e. sagittal, transverse and coronal plane.

“Complete rehabilitation is possible if the correct sequence of therapies is performed. Robots will be able to do this without getting tired,” explained Dr. Mohanta, Assistant Professor, IIT Jodhpur.

HOW DOES THE ROBOTIC TRAINER WORK?

The robotic trainer is basically a splint or a wearable device like an exoskeleton that supports the leg. It is supplied with a Cartesian parallel manipulator (3 directional) to perform the required therapeutic limb movements in the transverse/horizontal/lateral and sagittal/longitudinal plane.

The design ensured a large workspace to perform the required range of movement therapies.

The usefulness of the designed stationary trainer was confirmed using computer simulations as well as a motion control scheme by performing various ranges of clinically suggested therapeutic passive motions.

The design can perform important essential rehabilitation therapy movements like abduction (the movement of a limb or appendage away from the midline of the body), adduction (the movement of a limb or an appendage to the midline of the body), flexion (flexion movement), and extension of the hip and knee joints.

BOOST FOR PHYSIOTHERAPY

The trainer proposed by the IIT Jodhpur team is conceptually simple and has a modular mechanical configuration that is easy to attach and use.

Additionally, since only linear actuators are used for hip and knee movements, the robot itself is stable, safe, and robust when in use.

MTECH IN ROBOTICS AT IIT JODHPUR

Robotics is an interdisciplinary field that cuts across the fields of software, control, mechanics, sensing and electronics.

In order to meet this growing demand for engineers from diverse backgrounds in the field of robotics and mobility systems, and to support relevant research and development, an MTech program in robotics and mobility system is designed by IIT Jodhpur.

This program is offered by IDRP Robotics and Mobility Systems.

The proposed MTech program will provide cross-disciplinary learning opportunities to participate in one of the most challenging advanced technology fields.

It is also envisioned that this program will serve as a platform to test innovative ideas in the design, development and testing of robotics and mobility systems.

Students in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical and Communications Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Instrumentation and Control, Aerospace Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Engineering Physics or equivalent education are eligible.

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