Research@IITD: Flexmo

Srinivas Adepu always wanted to give back to the society. So even after getting a cushy job, he decided to follow his passion.

“I was looking for a platform, an opportunity where I could chase my dreams. When my friend met with an accident while playing basketball, I realized how difficult life could be on crutches. The crutches currently available in the market had their own problems. I wanted to improve them and make life better for the physically challenged persons,” Srinivas, who graduated in Mechanical Engineering says.

Srinivas’s startup journey got a kick-start when in 2015 he got a project which entailed improvisation of a crutch. The improvised crutch was later presented at a design innovation programme. This was when he met his junior colleague Arvind S. A. and after a lot of introspection both decided to start a company for developing crutches that reduces the medical side effects.

“The assistive devices are designed to provide confidence to the physically challenged persons. The current devices, are , however simply meant for survival. Our aim is to go beyond survival and provide affordable assistive devices which improves the quality of life of these people,” says Srinivas

The first prototype was built in January 2017 and since then there have been 60 prototypes with improvisations. The IRD start up fund helped them map the contours for their company. Later, they got other grants including the BIRAC BIG 2018 and Korean grand startup challenge for pursuing their research.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ftOEy5Y57Q

User Review Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLfXAZcZwVE

Website: https://www.flexmotiv.com

“There are several serious side effects from using a traditional crutch like deformation of the body, nerve damage, and crutch palsy. We took all this into account and re-designed a crutch that reduces energy usage and mitigates the side effects,” says Arvind.

"IRD startup action helped us by giving us confidence in the idea. We were able to make quick prototypes and started testing the product on users. The funds were sufficient to validate the advantages scientifically. We were able to register our company as pvt ltd. With these achievements we were able to apply for other funds," says Srinivas Adepu

The duo was joined by Girish Yadav, an undergraduate student and they formed the company Flexmotiv Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The team worked on developing a better, handy crutch that had a better grip and could even tread through a rugged terrain. The rubber tip was replaced by a steel structure for a better durability. Priced at Rs 2,999 per pair, the end product is perhaps the world’s first self standing crutch.

The team was mentored by Prof. Jitendra Khatait and Prof. Sudipto Mukherjee

In the next level, the team will attempt to make premium crutches embedded with a torch.