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Balance Mate to avoid incorrect posture

Engg students design Balance Mate, device to avoid incorrect posture

May 29, 2021
Reshma Ravishanker

As students studying their first semester of engineering, they noticed that a lot of people in their vicinity, including the lecturers who taught them, suffered from arthritis, leg pain, or even conditions like varicose veins. The most common factor they saw was an incorrect posture.

In the course of the next couple of years, this group of engineering students studying Information Science at BNM Institute of Technology decided to do their bit to help people around them. Hence the product ‘Balance Mate’ was conceptualized.

‘Balance Mate’, a wearable healthcare device conceptualized to train the sub-conscious to maintain a healthy posture is now all set for trials at the Indian Institute of Science.

Under a startup Switchcase Technologies Private Limited that these students founded, the product was designed and has undergone several modifications to attain finesse.

“A lot of us have a tendency to shift our weight on one leg while we stand and it often goes unnoticed. By the time a person is 40, it has become a habit and complications arise out of it. The device is a small one that can be strapped on the ankle. Once a person shifts postures and shifts the weight on one side of the body, an impulse is sent reminding them of the mistake. This helps develop muscle memory,” explained Brahma SP, one of the co-founders of the start-up.

The team began working on the idea when they were in the second semester and the prototype was soon ready. However, Brahma said that with guidance from experts and teachers, it had to undergo multiple changes for the design to be appropriate.

The team received a funding of Rs 2 lakh from the IEDC funding provided by the department of science and technology, the government of India following which design improvements were done. It took several rounds of scrutiny for the students who designed their prototype in 2019 to have a final product in January 2020.

These students hope to keep the product available for all in the market on a rental basis at an affordable cost of around Rs 200- Rs 300 per week.

Abhilesh M and Akhilesh M are among the others who worked on the product. Abhilesh said that the product was conceptualized to have a social impact.

“We spoke to doctors in our college vicinity and sought their advice. The idea is to have a preventive mechanism from people getting problems like knee pain, arthritis, varicose veins, or other related issues because of shifting the entire weight on the dominant leg unconsciously,” he said, adding. “When engineering students are given project work, it is not to be considered a mere assignment for marks. We should look at solving real-life problems.”  

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