iCOP Conference Kicks Off in UOW Malaysia KDU


Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between UOW Malaysia KDU and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) witnessed by YBM Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji

1st International Conference Orthotics and Prosthetics launched by YBM Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji witnessed by Professor Dr Hiew Pang Leang

Group photo together with YBM Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji

Exhibition on prosthetics and orthotics during the conference

By Dr Kenneth

UOW Malaysia KDU launched the inaugural International Conference on Orthotics and Prosthetics (iCOP) 2019 today on 20 November 2019 at the UOWMKDU Glenmarie Campus, Shah Alam.

The event was graced by YBM. Tengku Zulpuri Shah Bin Raja Puji, Deputy Minister of Water, Land, and Natural Resources and also marks the launch of a collaboration between UOWMKDU and Universiti Putra Malaysia in the development of sustainable prosthetics.

Prosthetics and Orthotics is a dynamic and expanding allied health science profession. Technically,prosthetics and orthotics are separate disciplines, but their common goals in rehabilitation unite them into one cooperative entity.

Humans can accurately sense the position, speed, and torque of their limbs, even with their eyes shut. This sense, known as proprioception, allows humans to precisely control their body movements. Despite significant improvements to prosthetic devices in recent years, researchers have been unable to provide this essential sensation to people with artificial limbs, limiting their ability to accurately control their movements.

The iCOP 2019 is the first orthotics and prosthetics conference which was held in Malaysia. It is a brainchild of collaboration between Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), University of Malaya (UM), UOW Malaysia KDU, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM), University of Bath and International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics Malaysia (ISPOM) aimed to create a platform to share experiences, build partnerships and explore innovative solutions for the benefit of patients and the key players of engineering, technologies and industry in the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics.

“The iCOP Conference is an important platform for academics, industry and the disabled community to network and collaborate to further the field of research in Malaysia,” said the Chairman of the Conference, Assoc. Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr. Mohamed Thariq bin Haji Hameed Sultan from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

The event was headlined by the keynote address of Professor Gursel Alici, Chief Investigator and Soft Robotics Theme Leader at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and the Head of School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering, University of Wollongong.

Prof Alici was instrumental in developing a soft robotic hand that works far closer to the function and feel of a natural hand compared to regular prosthetics. The conference braced by BioApps, Limb Brace, Endolite (Asia) Sdn Bhd and Limbs for Life, with representations from local NGOs and disability groups.

The conference supported by the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) who was represented by Prof Kazuhiro Sakai, Executive Board Member of ISPO.

The event gathered international academics representing five major nations – Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Malaysia.

Prosthetic users frequently experience discomfort, blistering and ulcers between their prosthetics and their residual limbs. The limb’s volume changes throughout the day. This unavoidable fluctuation changes how the limb and prosthetic socket fit together. Currently, many prosthetic users manually adjust the fitting between the prosthetics and their limbs by adding or removing socks.

“We want everything to adjust depending on whether the person is walking, running or simply sitting down”, said Chong Wei Tatt of the prosthetic user. “I want to remain active by buying a good wheelchair. You can have a best device, but you need a good socket.”

The conference moves in line with the University of Wollongong Global Challenges program in the construction of a Disability Research Network of interdisciplinary researchers.

UOW Malaysia KDU houses the University of Wollongong Global Challenges Research Network (Asia) which supports interdisciplinary research and promotes research collaborations between the University of Wollongong with regional partners in Asia to address key social and industrial challenges being faced in the region.

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20 November 2019

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UOW Malaysia KDU University College



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