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IIT Robotics invented in Jodhpur provide Physiotherapy to Paralytic Patients for Lower Limb Rehabilitation

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur researchers designed robotic trainers that can be used in robotic physiotherapy to treat lower limb disabilities, a common problem in India. IIT Jodhpur researcher Dr Jayant Kumar Mohanta, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and other co-researchers have built robotic trainers that may be used in robotic physiotherapy to rehabilitate lower limb disabilities.

Limb disability is a significant disease that affects Indians and is caused on by polio, accidents, physical abnormalities, age-related illnesses, and other factors. In India, there are five million patients with locomotor disorders, according to the census 2011.

According to the IIT Jodhpur “Lower limb rehabilitation, especially for gait recovery is time-consuming and sometimes involves multiple physiotherapists. Recently, there has been interested in designing IIT robotic devices for lower limb rehabilitation. In robotic rehabilitation, the therapist only needs to provide supervision and the setting up the device. The understanding gleaned from this research work has been shared in a paper in the International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems.”

In IIT robotic rehabilitation therapy, it is beneficial that the therapist only needs to provide supervision and the setting up the device. Moreover, rehabilitation therapy tends to take time and necessitates several physiotherapists. Recently, scientists have begun evaluating the advantages of robotic functionalities for the rehabilitation of lower limbs.

Most existing robotic systems treat patients by performing motions only in the sagittal plane.   Movements in the transverse (upper and lower body) and coronal (front and back) planes are also necessary for complete limb movement, considering sagittal movement insufficient. A robot manipulator configuration that can manipulate the ankle to provide the motions in the sagittal, transverse, and coronal planes has been proposed by researchers at IIT Jodhpur.

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



What characterizes the newly formed robotic system from the ones already in use?

Robotic systems should ensure movements in both coronal and transverse planes. The top and lower bodies are described by the transverse plane, while the front and back are described by the coronal plane. As a part of the current studies, researchers have demonstrated a robot manipulatory configuration that can move the ankle in all three planes—sagittal, transverse, and coronal—and can be used to manipulate the ankle.

“The robotic trainer has a manipulator which can work in the x, y and z axes. Apart from that, it has active ankle control. So overall 4-axis control,” Dr. Jayant Kumar Mohanta stated.

How does the robotic trainer’s mechanism?

The exoskeleton-like brace or wearable device known as the robotic trainer supports the leg. It was provided with a Cartesian (3-directional) parallel manipulator to perform the required limb therapeutic motions in the transverse/horizontal/lateral and sagittal/longitudinal plane. According to him, the design offered a vast workspace to execute the required range of motion therapy.

What actions are carried out by the new robotic trainer?

Using computer-based simulations and a motion control scheme, the utility of the designed stationary trainer was confirmed by participating in numerous of clinically recommended therapeutic passive ranges of motions. The design could execute crucial therapeutic movements for rehabilitation therapy which include flexion (bending movement), extension, and abduction of the hip and knee joints (moving a limb or appendage away from the midline of the body or toward it).

The lead researcher said, “The robotic trainer we have designed will help provide physiotherapy to paralytic patients, and for those who have spinal cord injuries that have disrupted their lower limb functions.”

The training partner recommended by the team from IIT Jodhpur is fundamentally simple and clear and includes a modular mechanical configuration that is simple to maintain and operate. The robot itself is steady, safe, and robust while in operation because only linear actuators are employed for the hip and knee motions.

Interdisciplinary in nature, robotics encompasses the fields of software, control, mechanics, sensing, and electronics. An MTech Program in Robotics and Mobility Systems is being developed by IIT Jodhpur to help satisfy the growing need for engineers with a wide range of backgrounds in the field of robotics and mobility systems as well as to support relevant research and development.

The suggested MTech program would provide possibilities for multidisciplinary learning in one of the most difficult fields of advanced technology. According to IIT Jodhpur, this program will also provide as a proving ground for novel concepts in the design, development, and testing of robotic and mobility systems.

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