This R2D2 can get you up and keep going

From light-weight prosthetics to a standing wheelchair, the IIT-Madras lab develops affordable assistive devices for the disabled.

Walking into Sujatha Srinivasan’s lab in IIT-Madras is like entering a sci-fi movie set, with futuristic looking prosthetics models on table-tops and assistive devices in various stages of design and development. The Associate Professor, who heads the Rehabilitation…

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A Cane for the Blind that Senses Tall Obstacles

As an undergraduate studying computer science and engineering in New Delhi, Rohan Paul, the son of two doctors, took on a class project working with the blind. He learned that the white cane, which many visually impaired people depend on for mobility, has a major shortcoming: It doesn’t allow users to detect obstacles at or above knee level, such as tree branches, road barriers, car doors and clotheslines…

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Designing Medical Devices for the Poorest Four Billion

Let’s say you have developed a great prototype, but the prototype needs to get to market. It needs to get to commercialization. Commercialization is key to impact, but we have a real shortage of groups that will support the “unsexy” part of product development – scaling. My plea is – particularly to funders – to focus support on the valley of death between proof-of-concept and commercialization. Without it, there is no impact at scale.

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For a frugal way to save lives

India’s healthcare infrastructure is dismal, and the poor spend more than half of their income to meet medical needs. Fortunately, as these three stories show, entrepreneurship is joining hands with frugal engineering to make amends.

Anapoorni is a 44-year-old mother of four, and a domestic help in Chennai’s West Mambalam. But her four children, two daughters and two sons, would have actually been five…

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