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Sunday September 8, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 9, 2013 MYT 12:57:42 PM
by luwita hana randhawa
Victorious mission: Azman cycled 1,097km over nine days with his bionic prosthetic leg.
He battled the elements and he battled the traffic, but it was all worth it: Azman Yeop Akhil has successfully cycled his way into the Malaysia Book of Records for the Longest Distance Cycled by an Amputee.
Cycling a total of 1,097km, Azman passed through six states over the course of nine days.
If he was tired from his feat, he did not show it when he arrived home recently from Ekspedisi Kasih Bionik, the cycling expedition jointly organised by Universiti Malaya’s (UM) Centre for Applied Biomechanics (CAB), Photonics Research Group (PRG) and the Faculty of Engineering.
“I did not encounter a major problem nor did I doubt for one second that I would complete the journey,” he said.
Cycling an average of 120km a day with a daily call time at 7am, Azman added that the important thing to remember whilst on the road was to be focused.
The 43-year-old lost his right leg when he was knocked over by a motorcyclist at a pedestrian crossing eight years ago.
Researchers at CAB and PRG built two prosthetic legs for the cyclist, one for walking and one for running.
They also built for him a prosthetic cycling leg equipped with fibre-optic sensors especially for the cycling expedition.
The bionic cycling leg periodically sent real-time data on Azman’s vitals back to the laboratory in UM during his nine-day journey.
This allowed the researchers to monitor the performance and durability of the leg, and how Azman was “fitting in” with it.
“It was very comfortable. I did not feel any pain or discomfort,” said Azman of his bionic cycling leg. This is good news for the researchers who hope to commercialise the sensors. “We want to bring this research out of the lab and into the nation,” said PRG head and newly appointed deputy vice-chancellor (Development) Prof Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan.
“And then of course, take it not only nationally, but internationally,” said CAB head researcher and Faculty of Engineering deputy dean Assoc Prof Dr Noor Azuan Abu Osman. The post-expedition analysis will take about two to three months, he added.
All research and records aside, the humble cyclist was just happy to have completed his journey.
“I hope this will show my fellow amputee brothers and sisters that they can still achieve the things they want to,” he said.
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