Robotic rehabilitation glove wins Microsoft’s twentieth Think about Cup for pupil inventors – TechCrunch

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Microsoft’s Think about Cup is one thing I sit up for yearly. The scholars and younger entrepreneurs who submit their extraordinarily early stage initiatives to this world competitors are just like the seeds of future startups and doubtlessly world-changing initiatives. This yr’s winner, V Bionic, created a robotic glove to assist sufferers with neurological harm recuperate quicker at a fraction of the value of different choices.

The crew, from Saudi Arabia, was led by Zain Samdani, who though he’s a pupil has been researching and inventing issues within the robotics class for years. The remainder of the crew are equally on the begins of fascinating careers within the trade.

The ExoHeal glove is a mechanized exoskeleton made to be worn by individuals who have suffered neurological harm inflicting issues with hand actions.

We’ve seen a couple of of those efforts come out of robotics labs and startups over time; the overall line of thought is that of replicating the work of a bodily therapist, who observes a affected person’s actions and creates a set of workout routines to assist restore misplaced features. Within the case of a limb harm it’s usually muscle tissues and tendons that want rehabilitation, however with neurological harm it’s additionally essential to ensure that the mind is sending the appropriate alerts as nicely.

The crew was centered on making the glove transportable and inexpensive — different issues like this will depend on pneumatic or hydraulic mechanisms, that are cumbersome and sluggish.

V Bionic's exoskeleton glove with its full covering.

Picture Credit: V Bionic

The white construction you see within the picture at prime is a 3D printed exoskeleton, whereas the black overlaying and “backpack” home the sensors, servos, and different electronics.

“Flexor linkage-driven motion provides us the pliability to individually actuate totally different elements of every finger (phalanges) while retaining the machine transportable,” mentioned Samdani in an electronic mail to TechCrunch. “We’re presently creating our production-ready prototype that makes use of a modular design to suit the hand sizes of various sufferers.”

In early checks, the crew discovered anecdotally that the glove helped sufferers recuperate extra shortly, although there’s plenty of work forward for a medical machine like this. “We’re conducting our closing medical trials this yr to raised perceive the scope of restoration for a wide range of customers and achieve regulatory/medical machine approval,” Samdani mentioned. They plan to focus on India first as a high-need market with decrease regulatory obstacles.

The money from the Think about Cup victory will assist with that — Microsoft provides them $100K plus $50K in Azure credit, and a mentoring session from CEO Satya Nadella. Try how cute this second they had been advised they received is:

Team V Bionic celebrates their victory in a video call.

Picture Credit: Microsoft

Adore it.

They had been removed from the one cool crew within the working, although. Try the ultimate three right here.