Tech Gym stretches imagination and entrepreneurship
[overlay] UTS Tech Gym
Hi I'm Thirunisha Thirumurugan. Hi I'm Rowan Smith and we're the co-founders of Tech Gym. Tech Gym is our startup company and we've been working on it since the start of this year out of summer studio robotic rehabilitation.
We were allowed to play with a lot of robots, cameras and sensors and despite our interest in creating our own start up in rehabilitation. Our first product today is universal care. The universal care is my first prototype. I started working on it after my Nan had a stroke at the end of last year. Watching her go through this process was difficult and I realised there's actually a few things wrong in the process.
Typically, what physiotherapists do currently is manhandle patients, physically repeating the same exercise over and over again. Now this is actually causing themselves self injury. Actually 67% of physiotherapists get injured in their line of work. So what Tech Gym is doing, is aiming to detach the physiotherapist from the patient. Now what we do is we put the patient's arm into the cast on the robot. The robot can be controlled by the physiotherapist or it can be controlled by the game.
For the physiotherapist control the robot they move their hand in front of the camera the patient will attempt to follow them and when they can't the robot will move with them. They can also be put into the game now this means as they move their arm about they can do daily exercises such as cooking and cleaning, rebuilding the strengths they need to go back to everyday life. The robot can provide different levels of support as well, so as the patient progresses so will the robot’s support.
The next product we have is the rehab to the beat. Rehab to the beat or the art to the beat is a virtual piano that replicates a patient's hand movement into their computer screen. This music therapy device allows the patient to develop piano playing skills while rehabilitating. This device can be used at home where the patient is more comfortable. The current exercises for developing finger strength are buttoning and unbuttoning their shirts putting pebbles in a car. We developed rehab to the beat to improve their motivation in rehabilitation.
The next step for Tech Gym is go to the Virginia Tech global entrepreneurial challenge. We're really excited to represent our University and also showcase our company for the first time.
[overlay] University of Technology Sydney © 2018 CRICOS 00099F
Thirunisha Thirumurugan and Rowan Smith will represent UTS at the annual Virginia Tech Global Entrepreneur Challenge 16 – 25 August.
They will join students and faculty from 12 other countries to compete, collaborate, and network – with the top team taking home the US$30,000 grand prize.
The VT Challenge encourages university students to develop innovative ideas and an entrepreneurial approach to contribute to the global economy. In the Challenge, they test their business concept by demonstrating how it meets customer need, occupies a differentiated position in the marketplace, and has a viable business model and value proposition. Prizes (US$10,000 for second place and a People’s Choice of US$5,000) focus on supporting educational entrepreneurship at an early stage of development, so all applicants are expected to have a working prototype.
Chosen from a competitive internal UTS process, Nisha and Rowan will pitch their concept Tech Gym, which offers rehabilitative products for patients with upper limb mobility issues. The products will assist stroke patients to regain connections and strength to their fingers and arms and could be used in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and by physical therapists.
This team of two Mechatronic Engineering students emerged from the Faculty of Engineering and IT Summer Studio in Robotic Rehabilitation. Watch this video to see the two concepts they have worked on thus far: Rehab to The Beat and Universal Care.
Nisha’s project is a keyboard-based resource to help stroke patients, at home or in hospital, to use music therapy to regain hand strength and movement.
With 67% of physiotherapists suffering work injuries, Rowan’s robotic arm assists both practitioners and patients, and introduces a hand controlled mode to use games or exercises for the patient to improve movement.
“You need a plan for a business, not an idea,” Rowan, acknowledging that most of their time recently has been less on product development and more on understanding how to write a business plan and prepare a persuasive pitch.
So look out for the next video when they describe the steep learning process to help them get support for their concept!