Published: 09th November 2020
The prosthetic developed by student start-up Solbots has won some prestigious grants, and hearts too
They have also entered the FoodTech space by working on a unique vending machine that cooks the food within it and presents it to the customer. They are working on this to sustain themselves
It started small for technology enthusiast Nagireddy Mano Satya Sai. From his first year at VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology (VNR VJIET), pursuing his Bachelor's in Electronics and Communications Engineering, he would pursue one problem statement after another, taking up eight such projects in the realms of home automation and such. After winning recognition and `3,000 at a workshop, the 21-year-old decided to step it up to really create an impact. Thus, in his second year, he indulged in his love for robotics and developed a robotic arm and this he thought of converting into a prosthetic. "We really wanted the project to benefit people," says the Hyderabadi. Looks like the good folk at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, were of the same opinion as the team was granted a student grant of `2 lakh from them. This is how Solbots Robotic Solutions started in July 2018.
Nagireddy Mano Satya Sai | (Pic: Solbots Robotic Solutions)
"The grant really allowed us to spread our wings wide. We hired a ten-member team from our college and decided to refine the idea further," says the entrepreneur. In 2018, another grant of `45 lakh, sanctioned by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), came their way and just last year, they received the funds. By now, you must be wondering what's this novel idea that has all the bigwigs betting their money on it, literally. Mano goes on to explain that upon extensive research which involved them talking to several amputees, they understood that in the amputation process followed in India, the muscle points that receive brain signals to make activities happen are often damaged, "As opposed to the process done in the US, where the prosthetics are subsidised by the government, hence, doctors operate keeping this in mind," explains the Founder and CEO.
They are currently incubated at VNR VJIET's incubation centre, VJ Hub
Thus, no matter how good a prosthetic is in India, it doesn't work for the person. "In fact, we met an amputee in Khammam who used to use his human hand to guide the prosthetic, which defeats the very purpose of the prosthetic," says Mano vehemently. Thus, they got the idea of developing a ring that can be worn on the index finger of the human hand that is connected to the robotic arm via Bluetooth and the thumb can be used to operate the ring, which will enable the robotic arm to perform day-to-day tasks. "To give a crude example, think of the ring as a joystick that operates the robotic arm," says the youngster. And this is the idea that has captured the imagination of one and all.
Trials | (Pic: Solbots Robotic Solutions)
"Now, most of our team members have received good packages during placements and have moved away. But I decided to stick to this idea because I see potential in it and I want to do something different," explains Mano.
What their solution does:
- Reduces dependency on muscle points
- The arm is adaptable within 30 minutes of wearing it
- There is no fatigue, no discomfort or pain
For more on them, check out facebook.com/solbots