Engineering Research: from the Ivory Tower Reaching out to the Disabled Community

By Monday, February 18, 2013 , , No comments


Engineering is often envisaged as the branch of knowledge connected to maths and sciences to solve real-world problems. In most parts of the world, any person who wishes to practice as an engineer must first successfully complete an accredited degree in engineering. Therein lays the path to pursue postgraduate study to individuals who wish to reach the highest levels of his or her capabilities. Such pursuit relies greatly on the opportunities and the wealth of researches that are accessible in the institutions of higher learning. 

Undeniably, on-going research is the beating pulse of the university. It is the catalyst to the number of grants acquiredfrom the government and private sector; and of course the ‘magnet’ that draws postgraduate students to the particular university. Despite all this, the research in engineering needs to be motivated by the ‘values’ it carries into the society. Then only the gap between the academia (often termed as the ‘ivory tower’) and the community can be bridged together.

Robotics is a branch of engineering that involves the operations and applications of robot technology. The research trend in this area is experiencing a paradigm shift from industrial robots towards socially assistive robotics and human-friendly robots. 

Rehabilitation robotics is part of the notion for robots to play substantial role in healthcare and specific rehab interventions for the elderly people and persons affected by neurodevelopmental disorders such as Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). With robotic intervention, it is hoped that the quality of life for the disabled can be made better and they may gain more independence in their daily lives.

read more: RMI website

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