CHENNAI: For those with locomotor disorders, the facilities available to assist their movement are either outdated and low cost or too hi-tech and available at sky-high prices.
For the ones who cannot afford assisted devices with up-to-date technology, TTK Center for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) is working on inventing assisted devices at affordable prices. The Center has been developed by the department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT -Madras, and is funded by T T Jagannathan, chairman, TTK Prestige.
Speaking at the inauguration, TT Jagannathan said that facilities for the differently-abled were available all over the world. “Though facilities are available, providing them at an affordable cost is important. I am impressed by the Rehabilitation Research and Device Development initiative of IIT-M and the presentation made by Prof Nagarajan and Dr Sujatha Srinivasan,” he said.
“I believe that this initiative will deliver improvised devices at affordable prices for use by physically challenged people and bring quality to their life. We are extremely happy to contribute to this research project. I thank IIT-M for providing me this opportunity to fund a project that will be useful to the society,” Jagannathan added.
Sujatha Srinivasan, associate professor, department of Mechanical Engineering, who is in-charge of the project, said that R2D2 aimed to fill the gap between the extremes of facilities available to those with locomotor disability. “Functional knee joint, that is suitable for uneven terrain, affordable standing wheelchair that enables the user to lift to standing position, a body-motion controlled wheelchair and Saathi walker that supports those with locomotor difficulties and makes them move on their own are a few of the devices being worked on by the R2D2,” she said.
With more research and development, the new R2D2 centre would leverage the engineering strength of IIT-Madras and use it for locomotor assistive devices in future.
The purpose of the centre, is to make affordable products for our country’s rehabilitation needs, work with clinical specialists, NGOs and hospitals, to field-test the designs, and foster a research environment to evaluate assistive device designs and improve upon them from biomechanical and functional standpoints.The purpose of the Center is to make affordable products for country’s rehabilitation needs, work with hospitals and NGOs and field-test the designs among others