Thammasat’s innovation for society: an arm support device for physical therapy

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Arm Support Device for Physical Therapy

CED2 Lab of the Faculty of Engineering, Thammasat University have innovated the Design and development of Arm Support Device used in Physical Therapy with the Mechanics Support System.

This innovation was submitted for “Thailand Research Expo 2020” held in Bangkok, and organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI), National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). It won a silver medal for the development of artificial intelligence, smart devices, energy, and environment category.

The team behind the innovation includes Mr Chollakarn Manoyen and Ms Wanwalita Sathchang from Thammasat University, and Mr Sasiroj Thiptiphakorn and Mr Takdanai Thadaphirom from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) with Assistant Professor Dr Bunyong Rungroungdouyboon as the advisor.

Most ischemic stroke patients have one common symptom which is muscle weakness, including the weakness on one side of the body, weakness in the legs or arms. According to a survey in Thailand, many leg support devices used in physical therapy had already been developed but no arm support device existed yet. The arm muscles are a small muscle group that need physical therapy on a regular basis, and it also requires a caregiver or therapist to monitor during the session. Using this device at home will help solve this issue.

The arm support device used in physical therapy has never been previously produced or developed in Thailand. Most people cannot afford expensive devices. Hence, they need to go to the hospital or therapy centre which may be discouraging because they have to spend too much time on traffic as well as money. Moreover, a caregiver or physical therapist required at all times. With this device, the patient could perform physical therapy at home effectively by using the device at a reasonable price.

Since this device is still a prototype, the team will continue to work on the small improvements and add other functions, for example, developing the portable format to allow everyday use, increasing the visual impression. Once it’s successfully completed, it will be launched in the market as well.