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Gait Enable robot will catch patients if they fall | Coastweek

Aliasgar Morbi and his fellow engineering Ph.D. students at Carleton’s Advanced Biomechatronics and Locomotion Laboratory looked into how robotics could help old people and patients. They developed the Gait Enable robot to catch patients if they fall during their physiotherapy exercises. It works like a built-in life-preserver; patients are locked in with chest straps and the robot follows behind and senses their every move as they stand and bend, or if they fall. The robot catches patients if they fall.

 

Mombasa youth develops robot that helps patients to walk again

 
NEW DELHI India -- Seeing both his grandmothers struggling to move around with great difficulty and suffering in their old age, a young man, originally from Mombasa in Kenya, Aliasgar Morbi, was motivated to devise a robot that would support one of them if she fell down, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.

Morbi’s family moved to Canada from Kenya over 20 years ago and settled in Ottawa.

They originally came from Morbi in Gujarat.

"My grandmother suffered from Parkinson’s and I remember I used to stay up every night worrying ‘Is she going to fall when she gets up and tries to walk to the washroom?’" he said.

Now he has demonstrated a robot at the Ottawa Hospital in Canada that catches you if you fall.

The "Gait Enable" robot was developed by Morbi as part of a small team of Carleton University engineering students to help people learn to walk again.

This robot will help patients with physical disability or old age to steady them when they stumble and rely less of nurses or health care workers.

"If you fall, somebody has to be there," said Morbi.

"But catching a grown adult can lead to serious injuries for those devoted to helping patients walk.

"Lifting and moving patients leads to costly workplace injuries."

So he and his fellow engineering Ph.D. students at Carleton’s Advanced Biomechatronics and Locomotion Laboratory looked into how robotics could help old people and patients.

They developed the Gait Enable robot to catch patients if they fall during their physiotherapy exercises.

It works like a built-in life-preserver; patients are locked in with chest straps and the robot follows behind and senses their every move as they stand and bend, or if they fall.

The robot catches patients if they fall.

Now Morbi and his team need to cover the robot with a shell to hide all the wires, and once they do that, they can start testing it on patients at hospitals.

While working for his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from 2009 to 2013, Morbi developed this robot.

And studying for his Masters, he designed a single-DOF robotic device for assisting knee and elbow motions.

He was awarded the CMBEC Outstanding Research Award and the Carleton University Senate Medal in 2009.

He enrolled for his engineering degree course in 2002.

With his team, Morbi decided to start their own company in 2012 called GaitTronics — with Gait Enable as their first main project.

Morbi said he hopes the robot will free up busy hospital staff so that they can treat more patients.
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While there are other devices to help patients in and out of bed or a wheelchair, he said, no robotic machine has been developed to help patients walk.

"In addition to more than nine years of R&D experience in robotics and mechatronics, I have firsthand experience bring new technologies to market and navigating the various challenges associated with product development, marketing medical devices, managing regulatory requirements, raising capital, and bridging the gap between innovation and commercialization," he said.

 
 

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