Grade 10 students develop AI device to help fix posture

GURUGRAM: A team of Class 10 students here has developed a portable, cost-effective and user-friendly device driven by artificial intelligence (AI) that may help correct the posture of those suffering from ‘text neck’.

Excessive watching or texting on hand-held devices over a sustained period of time can result in a repeated stress injury and pain in the neck called ‘text neck’.

The Posture Perfect Device developed by the students at Shiv Nadar School, Gurugram — Tanishka Sahay, Navya Sachdeva, Aryan Verma and Tejasv Rastogi — not only sends alerts for sitting in a wrong position but also notifies the number of times people sit in that posture.

After an interval of 30 minutes, the user is notified about their correct and incorrect posture ratio through the push notification on their smartphones, Sahay told PTI.

Unlike the other alternative methods available in health stores, this device is affordable and easy to use, Sahay noted.

Studies have indicated that an incorrect posture can lead to a host of ailments, including exacerbating arthritis, breathing difficulty, headaches, among others.

“The aim of our project was to create a portable, cost-effective and user-friendly device to correct posture. There are, at present, two categories of posture correction devices available in the market: braces for the back and furniture, such as sit-stand desks,” said Sachdeva.

“However, these devices are uncomfortable and have a high installation cost, which makes our device a much better alternative in the market,” Sachdeva said.

“Secondly, ours is a system that can be scaled to show organisational statistics and can help an organisation trace and improve its health footprints which we felt is a burning need at this stage since one of the major challenge is that people do not consider posture to be a matter of concern,” she said.

The device consists of a mountable camera which captures the live video stream of body posture in the form of image frames, which is then processed by an AI computer system.

It identifies the essential body points like nose, neck, left and right shoulder and calculates the distance and angle between these points.

The device constantly captures, calculates and stores this data for each frame and averages these values every 30 minutes to determine the correct/incorrect posture ratios to predict postural improvement for end users.

The students said they developed the device keeping in mind the employees of multinational companies who work for long hours in front of a laptop or a computer.

However, they said they could reach out to a larger customer base with their device.

“As such, we customised our device in such a way that it could be used by anyone who is in need of posture correction be it a school student or people working from home or anyone sitting at a stretch for long hours,” Verma said.

He said the device, inclusive of all components, is expected to be priced at around Rs 3,500.

However, bulk orders from companies will bring down the cost significantly, making it an economical alternative to other posture correction devices already in the market.

The students said they have been awarded the Junior Astitva Samman 2019 by the PhD Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which they will receive on Friday.

“Understanding the society we live in and developing the ability to understand its challenges and explore solutions has always been a focus area inside our classrooms,” said Mark Nelson, Head IT Department, Shiv Nadar School, Gurugram.

“It was energising to see the passion with which the students applied their tech learnings from classroom in this project,” Nelson said.

At present, the students have developed two prototypes installed in the school lab and have used it to test many students and teachers.

“This helped us to collect the most accurate possible data to show the functioning of our device. Post our board exams, we will take it forward and do the installation at corporate offices,” Sachdeva said.

The students observed that though people are generally aware of the ill-effects of incorrect posture, only a few are willing to correct it or make a conscious effort towards correcting it in their daily routine.

“We have seen our teachers; parents and peers suffer from back aches and stiff necks after long hours of work. This compelled us to identify the root cause of this very common problem, which is incorrect posture,” Rastogi said.

“We came to the conclusion that while it is important to come up with more solutions for issues such as posture, it is equally important to make people aware of the depth of the issue and its potential risks on their health in the future,” Rastogi added PTI

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