Monday, May 22, 2006


Boy from Orissa gives voice to the paralysed

May 19, 2006 20:27 IST

A 17-year-old schoolboy in Bhubaneswar has claimed to have invented a device which can enable a paralysed person to communicate using the muscles of his forehead.

The 'Galbenator' invented by Apurv Mishra has earned him the third position in the engineering category at the recent Intel International Science and Engineering fair at Indianapolis in USA.

"The device is based on a new concept of directional displacement of a point on the skin just above eyebrows as a data source," Apurv said.

The boy developed an advanced forehead skin deformation coding system to analyse the displacement of the positional indicators and found points of maximum displacement.

"When the corrugator supercilli and frontalis muscle on forehead are contracted, the points of displacement are detected. This helps a person operate the device," he said, adding the data from the sensor was processed and forwarded to the data transmission section.

"Subsequently, the receiver forwards the data to the micro-controller which is used to select and surf the menu. Finally, it reaches the pre-recorded message that helps a disabled person to communicate with others," Apurv, a student of the DAV public school, said.

Before he gave final touches to the instrument, it was tested on 83 paralysed patients, he said.

The boy said he began his quest after his grandfather was struck by paralysis.

He invented the device in the shape of a helmet. "Now it is in the shape of goggles. Further improvisation could reduce its size."

He said the device could also be manufactured for defence use.

The Standard XII student, who has been awarded the Avasc Foundation Award, Recoh Sustainablity Development Award 2006 and Appreciation medal from the US Army, won $ 1,500 in cash.

His invention had been declared the outstanding project at the national level CBSE science exhibition, held in New Delhi in 2005.

Apurv, who was also a recipient of the CSIR Diamond Jubilee National Invention Award 2004-05, is now trying to patent his invention.

He said the Galbenator had been registered by the Intellectual Property Management division of CSIR.

The Intel International Science and Engineering fair is one of the world's largest pre-college scientific research based competitions, and drew around 1,500 participants across 47 nations this time.

Eight Indian teenaged scientists had competed for the four million dollar prize money at the fair.


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