Robotics & Automation for Humanitarian Applications
The Automation and Robotic Technology group at Ammachi Labs focuses on areas such as human robot interaction, rehabilitation and assistive robotics, robotics for humanitarian aid in disaster affected areas and automation.
AMMACHI Labs is working in close collaboration with the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in using robotics, haptics and motion tracking with an aim to design solutions which are affordable, robust and scalable. We investigate the application of robotics in motor therapy procedures for recovering motor control and motor capabilities in persons with impairment following diseases such as stroke, as well as to develop robotic and mechatronic technical aids for independent living for disabled and elderly people.
At AMMACHI labs, we leverage on our skillset in human–computer interaction, robotics, design, and social sciences to research on human robot interaction challenges and to design automation solutions to eliminate the drudgery in work in human intensive tasks(areas). The goal is to build a symbiotic relationship between robots and humans by investigating the ingredients of skill learning in humans and augmenting these skills through human robot interaction.
Robotics for Rehabilitation and Assistance
The development of such rehabilitation devices improves the quality and frequency of physical rehabilitation exercises that a patient has to undergo during treatment.
Amrita balance Trainer (AMBA)
The Amrita Balance trainer is a sensor laden platform that enables patients suffering from impaired balance regain static and dynamic balance through interactive virtual reality games. Physiatrists will also be able to track the patients' balance recovery with this innovative system. Exploiting the advantages of gaming that involve the patient in training in an motivated manner and can offer various preset competency levels to adapt to the limitations faced by the patient due to their disability, the AMBA system helps the doctor customise the training program to meet every individual needs.
Exoskeletal Orthosis for Rehabilitation
The general design motivation for orthoses acting in parallel with a human limb is to improve human locomotion capability, develop joint strength, and increase endurance through physical rehabilitation exercises for the human limbs. The parallel haptic orthosis designed at Ammachi Labs is a grounded hand and arm rehabilitation system. The orthosis provides bi-directional haptic feedback to the arm and joints of the fingers and the novel dynamic counterweight balancing mechanism prevents the effects of loading on the user's arm.
Masters of Technolgy (M.Tech) in Robotics and Automation
AMMACHI Labs also offers strong academic programs which inspire students with a quest for knowledge and a focus on innovation. The interdisciplinary Robotics and Automation M.Tech program was launched in 2014 in collaboration with the Department of Mechanical Engineering. This program brings together students from diverse engineering backgrounds, and prepares them to take leading roles in the application driven research and development of future generations of cooperative robotic technologies and systems that work alongside humans. In addition, this program provides the necessary foundations for a professional career in the field of robotics and automation to meet the needs of the Indian control and automation industry today. At present there are 12 full time students and 3 part time students.
Through AMMACHI Labs, Amrita University has collaborated with ABB Robotics for setting up this state-of-the-art robotics research lab, which is the only ROS-industrial lab in India. While ABB is one of the oldest and most reputed robotics companies globally, Amrita is known for its excellence in research for societal impact. Worldwide, few universities can claim to host real industrial robots and as a result most training today is carried out through simulation. By enabling ROS-industrial, AMMACHI Labs plans to leverage its research capabilities by identifying new and impactful uses of industrial robots. The acquisition of the IRB 1600 and IRB 1520 ROS robots for the M.Tech program in Robotics and Automation India is a first for an Indian university. Now engineering students from all over India have an opportunity to enter a field with exciting career opportunities and a huge range of applications, from robotics in manufacturing and automation to the automotive, aerospace, medical and leisure and entertainment industries.
Other projects in the works include a maker lab and digital fabrication studio, where students can come to tinker, build, and prototype. The labs will include pneumatic and hydraulic kits, a PLC with a simulator unit and micro controller training kits. Research in UAV (drone technology) will also be explored in the near future.