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ISRO develops microprocessor-controlled artificial knee

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The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said on Friday that it has developed a microprocessor-controlled knee (MPK) that is ten times cheaper than imported ones.

According to ISRO, the MPK will benefit above-the-knee amputees to walk with a comfortable gait.

With microprocessors, the artificial limb offers additional capabilities to the amputee than passive limbs without microprocessors.

The space agency said the MPK has allowed an amputee to walk about 100 meters in a corridor with minimal support and efforts are underway to improvise the performance.

These smart MPKs are being developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), ISRO under a MoU with the National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities (NILD), Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya National Institute for People with Physical Disabilities (Divyangjan) (PDUNIPPD(D) ), and the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO).

An MPK consists of a microprocessor, hydraulic shock absorber, knee and load angle sensors, composite knee shell, lithium-ion battery, electrical harness, and interface elements.

The microprocessor detects the gear status based on sensor data. The control software estimates the real-time damping required to achieve the desired ride by changing the stiffness of the system which is achieved by a hydraulic damper operated by a DC motor. Amputee-specific gait parameters can be set using PC-based software to enhance comfort. The interface plots the parameters in real time during the run.

After testing the MPK on a normal person, the artificial limb was tested on an amputee, identified by NILD for walking tests.

Assays were conducted in a NILD laboratory jointly by NILD and VSSC. The socket and installation of MPK for amputees were performed by NILD.

The VSSC adjusted amputee-specific parameters. The initial walking tests were performed with the support of parallel bars. Subsequently, the amputee was able to walk about 100 m in the corridor with minimal support. All knee subsystems performed satisfactorily.

According to ISRO, MPKs currently available in India are imported and are priced between Rs 10-60 lakh depending on complexity and functionality.

ISRO MPKs, once marketed, are expected to cost between Rs 4-5 lakh.

MPK optimization in terms of mass and envelope size is underway. More intelligence is being built into the system to help the amputee walk over rough terrain with advanced features for comfort, ISRO said.

However, ISRO did not specify the timetable for presenting the final product to be marketed.


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Royal Bengal Tiger spotted in Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary in Bargarh

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A Royal Bengal tiger was spotted at the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary in Bargarh. The Divisional Forestry Officer (DFO) confirmed the same on Saturday from video footage that captured the tiger moving in the forest.

The tiger was reportedly spotted at the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary located near Sambalpur’s Hirakud Dam. The tiger gender is male and it is an endangered species as its count is very low, reported Anshu Pragyan Das, DFO, Hirakud Wildlife Division.

The DFO expressed his joy that after several years a tiger was seen in the sanctuary. The team is even trying to track down whether or not the tiger has any female partners. Security around the sanctuary has been tightened to restrict the entry of unauthorized persons or poachers.

“It was seen while venturing near the safari area of ​​the sanctuary on December 1 and patrol staff captured video of the tiger as it crossed a road. This is the first time a tiger has entered the front door,” the DFO reported.

The DFO also ensured that special security measures are taken to ensure the protection of the tiger. As reported by the DFO, 12 teams have been hired to monitor the tiger.

“In addition to hiring a special team to monitor the tiger 24 hours a day, GIS technicians have been hired. A special patrol team is also engaged outside the sanctuary with metal detectors. We are emphasizing a special intelligence network to track and restrict unauthorized entry into the sanctuary. Immediate action will be taken against any illegal activity, the DFO said.

He further added: “We have yet to determine if the tiger was previously present at the wildlife sanctuary or if it came from Chhattisgarh. Last time, a royal Bengal tiger was seen in Debrigarh in 2018. We will track down the details soon if it ventured from any other landscape or was present here.”

In addition, security cameras have been installed at various locations in the sanctuary to track the feral cat.

In particular, the Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary spans Bargarh, near the Hirakud Dam, as well as the neighboring state. After 2018, not a single tiger was seen in the dense forest. The forestry department is on high alert as previous poachers remained quite active in the area.

Reported by Sanjay Jena (Sambalpur)


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Belgian girl weds Indian man as RK Narayan’s ‘Guide’ recreated in real life

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The legendary storyteller, Padma Vibhushan RK Narayan, would have been very proud if he had been alive today, because one of his great books ‘Guide’ has apparently come to life in real life.

It turns out that a 30-year-old tour guide, Ananth Raju, has married his 27-year-old Belgian girlfriend, Camille, in Hampi, Karnataka. And his love story was straight out of Narayan’s award-winning novel. The two were married on Friday according to Hindu rituals at the city’s Virupaksha temple.

The two reportedly met in Hampi just before the covid pandemic hit India in 2020. When Camille visited Hampi with her family, Raju not only took her around the city and gave her history-related information, but also he also arranged for her to stay at a good hotel.

Although Camille returned to Belgium with her family after her tour ended, the two kept in touch via social media. Gradually the friendship grew and both expressed their desire for marriage to their families, which both families accepted.

Camille was unable to come to India due to Covid restrictions but once the restrictions were lifted Camille came to Hampi. And both of them got married according to Hindu rituals.

Narayan’s ‘Guide’, which was published in 1958, has a similar plot in which a tour guide falls in love with a married woman who happened to be the wife of an archaeologist. The story took numerous twists and turns until the ‘guide’ ended up as a religious preacher in a temple.

A movie was made based on the novel which was released in 1965. The hit movie had Dev Anand and Wahida Rahman in the lead roles.


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Anand Mahindra awe-stricken by this 6-seater cycle, netizens hail desi jugaad

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Auto baron Anand Mahindra shared a video on Twitter praising a rural youth using an EV. He showered her with praise for her inventiveness, originality, and innovation.

The young man in the video drives his friends down the highway in unison in his custom-built six-seater electric two-wheeler.

According to Mahindra, necessity is the mother of invention and this concept could find global use as a tourist “bus” in busy European tourist destinations.

According to the man in the video, it runs on electricity and can travel up to 150 km on a single charge. This car costs between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 12,000. Furthermore, the young man claimed that the car can be charged at just Rs 10.

Sharing the video, Mahindra wrote: “With only small design inputs (cylindrical sections for the @BosePratap chassis?), this device could find global application. As a tourist ‘bus’ in the busy European tourist centers? I am always impressed by innovations in rural transport, where necessity is the mother of invention”.

His video has received a good response with more than 826.6k views, more than 43k likes and more than 5k retweets.

Industrialist Anand Mahindra frequently tweets interesting videos on Twitter that draw the attention of netizens. He rarely misses an opportunity to praise remarkable creations, and his most recent post is no exception.


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