Overcoming locomotive challenges

TCS develops an app benefiting  the differently-abled children to overcome restriction in movement

Published: 12th September 2017 10:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2017 07:09 AM   |  A+A-

Student practising on VHAB

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what appears to be a boon for the differently-abled children, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has developed an assistive technology-based application named VHAB(Virtual habilitation). The app will help the children overcome their locomotive challenges. The application aims to create a positive effect on the whole body mobility, especially in improving the stability and balance of the children suffering from Cerebral Palsy and Autism.

Robin Tommy, IPL Innovations lead, TCS, Thiruvananthapuram, who developed the application told Express, the product is currently being used by the children of Adarsh Rehabilitation Center, Kureekad, Kochi. The application, a first of its kind in Kerala which costs around Rs 70 lakh, was provided to Adarsh Rehabilitation center free of cost. The school spent around Rs 2 lakh as equipment cost, he said.It was Dinesh Thampi, VP, Kerala region , TCS who put forward the  proposal for this social innovation.  Robin said a five member team under him could  develop the app in close interaction with the officials of Adarsh special school.
 
Working of the application
The application works as an integrated system combining user interface, sensors, and an analytical engine. With the aid of Gesture Reality and Leap Motion sensors, the kid’s actions can be simulated on the screen. A personalised suite of exercises was created for various kinds of movements for the hands, legs, palms and multiple limbs.   We have used a ‘design thinking approach’  to develop a customized  solution to suit the needs of children with various problems.  As they will be able to view the scores and progress at each level, a sense of motivation and satisfaction will encourage them to attempt the exercises again without any external compulsion.

The scores achieved by the children can be used to analyse the level of improvement,” he said.   He said the app will help children under the age of 15 to 16 years to overcome their difficulties. Also their progress can be compared by analysing their scores secured each day. He said Ambily Francis, the chief physiotherapist of Adarsh Special School told him that there have been visible changes in the children after they used the application.Currently, it is being used by 7 children who are suffering from movement restrictions due to disabilities affecting the brain (cerebral palsy).Robin said the  phase 2 of VHAB is currently under development. In the second version, the children will get to do more exercises with the hands and legs as well as the fingers.

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