Australian student using 'smart socks' to allow remote treatment by a physiotherapist

A University of Melbourne PhD candidate is using "smart socks" to provide physiotherapy to those who would not usually be able to get to it.

Deepti Aggarwal has developed wearable sock units which send information on weight distribution, foot orientation and range of movement to physiotherapists who treat patients through video consultations.

Three sensors are embedded in the socks that patients wear while performing exercises as a web-interface displays the data in real time for physiotherapists.

"Smart socks" have been around a little while already, with companies like Sensoria commercially producing sensor-based socks, but Ms Aggarwal's use of the units in the medical field is pushing into new ground.

"Lower limb movements are difficult to understand over video, the movements are so subtle," Ms Aggarwal said.

The smart socks were trialled with three patients and a physiotherapist at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, between February and June 2017 and they were an instant hit.

"When I was trialling these socks, the patients wanted to take the socks home and physiotherapists wanted to use them with other patients," Ms Aggarwal told AAP.

Ms Aggarwal's prototype socks, which cost $300 to make, are not currently available for sale.

"My hope is that someone takes this system and takes it to the market," she said.

"There are many more dimensions we can explore - it can be beneficial for foot injuries, even for elderly people."

The technology could also be used for pregnant women who can't regularly travel for face-to-face care, she said.

"(It's) not a replacement for face-to-face consultations, rather they're the next best solution to support patients in critical situations such as those with severe pain and mobility issues."

PhD candidate Deepti Aggarwal is using the wearable technology to help people who couldn’t usually get to a physio to receive treatment.


Otago University proctor who confiscated bongs from student flat was unlawful

The Otago University proctor had no authority to enter a student flat unannounced and confiscate bongs used for smoking cannabis, says a criminal lawyer.

Mr Scott took it upon himself to uplift water pipes and bongs from a student flat earlier this month, after he let himself in to deliver some pamphlets, the student magazine Critic reported.

The Leith Street flat was reportedly empty apart from one resident who was sleeping upstairs.

Criminal lawyer Michael Bott told Morning Report Dave Scott's behaviour is unlawful, and could be seen as an act of burglary.

"You've got no authority, just because you've got the door ajar around the back, to go and walk in there, have a snoop around," he said.

"The proctor says he was going around there to drop of leaflets. There are things called letterboxes, which I assume houses in Dunedin have, he could have left the leaflets there."

Mr Bott said it sounds like an unlawful, traditional old police search.

He said the proctor's actions were silly and draconian.

He said New Zealanders are allowed to buy bongs and the use of them is a different matter.

Police have an obligation to investigate all crimes, he said.

"Just because you're a student, you don't forfeit your rights to be free from an unlawful search or seizure or somehow you give the university a license to commit acts of theft on your property."

In a statement yesterday, a university spokesperson said Mr Scott's actions were unusual and unlikely to be repeated.

Neither the proctor nor the university claimed a right to search private premises, but Mr Scott's actions were carried out in a way which the university was confident was to the students' advantage, the statement said.

Mr Scott judged that the occupants of the flat would rather deal with him informally than have the police search their home, the statement said.

"I am focussed on helping students gain degrees and not criminal convictions," he said.

An earlier "possible draft statement" was accidentally sent to RNZ in an email from a media and communication advisor for the university.

In it, Otago university's team leader for media engagement, Jo Galer, suggested the university consider admitting its proctor was "incorrect" to confiscate drug equipment from a student flat.

"The proctor is for the most part comfortable with the action he took in this case - however acknowledging that briefly entering the flat (when) no-one was there instead of contacting the police was technically incorrect," the draft statement read.

The earlier version also included a long quote from Mr Scott, stating that his actions were "in good faith".

However Ms Galer said the draft "does not represent the views of the university".

She said the draft was the initial view of a PR advisor who was trying to formulate a response and the final result was different because it was altered by the people who do represent the university.

Students at the university are planning to protest in the wake of the controversy.

Otago University Students' Association recreation officer Josh Smythe organised a student protest for Friday after the proctor cancelled a scheduled meeting with him today.

In a public Facebook post, he said he had received four reports of flats having bongs taken by the proctor this year.

He told Morning Report the proctor's actions are despicable.

"I think the fact that the university thinks that type of action is in the best interest of the students, is ridiculous."

Mr Smythe said Mr Scott walked around the back of the flat and let himself in an unlocked door.

"That's unbelievable really, he's an ex-cop, he should know better."

He said the issue students have is that the proctor entered onto the property without permission.

"It sets a pretty chilling precedent, it means that he could potentially, under his perception of his role, walk into any student's flat, any private property throughout the entirety of Dunedin."

Students want the university to question whether Mr Scott is right for the role of proctor.

"It seems he's taken it above and beyond what it needs to be and instead of building positive relationships with the local community, he's taken it upon himself to intimidate local students."

Mr Smythe believes the proctor should stand down.

Mr Scott - a former police officer - has been proctor since 2016.

Otago University proctor Dave Scott. Source:


Indonesian teenager survives 49 days at sea in a wooden raft with a hut

An Indonesian teenager who survived 49 days adrift at sea after the wooden fish trap he was employed to mind slipped its moorings says he ran out of food within a week and survived on fish and seawater he squeezed from his clothing.

Aldi Novel Adilang told The Associated Press on Monday that he turned on a lamp every time he sighted another ship and can't remember how many passed by "unaware of my ordeal."

The Indonesian Consulate in Osaka, Japan, said the 18-year-old was rescued by a Panamanian-flagged vessel off Guam on August 31, about 1,920 kilometres from his original location, and returned to Indonesia with officials earlier this month.

In this undated photo released by Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka, 18-year-old Aldi Novel Adilang sits on the deck of a Panamanian-flagged vessel, MV Arpeggio after being rescued in the waters near Guam. The Indonesian teenager has survived about 7 weeks adrift at sea after the floating wooden fish trap he was employed to mind slipped its moorings. Aldi's parents and the Indonesian Consulate in Osaka, Japan, said he was rescued by MV Arpeggio off Guam on Aug. 31 and returned to Indonesia earlier this month. (Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka via AP)
Aldi Novel Adilang sits on the deck of a Panamanian-flagged vessel. (Indonesian Consulate General) Source: Associated Press

He was employed since age 16 in the one of the world's loneliest jobs: lamp lighter on a rompong — a wooden raft with a hut on top that's lit at night to attract fish — moored about 125 kilometers (78 miles) off the coast of North Sulawesi.

The coastline is not visible from the fishing rafts and the numerous rompong are miles apart, said Adilang's mother, Net Kahiking. Supplies including food and fuel for a generator are dropped off about once a week. The minders, who earn $130 a month, communicate with fishing boats by hand-held radio.

"I was on the raft for one month and 18 days. My food ran out after the first week," said Adilang. When it didn't rain for days, "I had to soak my clothes in the sea, then I squeezed and drank the water."

The boy's father, Alfian Adilang, said the family is overjoyed at his return but angry with his employer. It was the third time the teen's raft had drifted. The previous two times it had been rescued by the owner's ship, the boy said.

The rafts are anchored with ropes and Aldi Adilang said strong friction caused them to break.

"I thought I will never meet my parents again, so I just prayed every day," he said.

Adilang's portable radio, known as a handy-talky or HT in Indonesia, would prove to be a lifesaver.

"It was early morning on Aug. 31 when I saw the ship and I lighted up the lamp and shouted 'help' using the HT," he said.

"The ship had passed about one mile but then it turned to me. Might be because I used the English word," he said. "Then they talked on the HT."

The MV Arpeggio, which rescued Adilang off Guam, contacted the Indonesian mission in Japan when it docked in Tokuyama and officials from the Osaka consulate collected him on Sept. 6, the consulate said in a statement. He returned to Indonesia on Sept. 8.

Adilang, who is the youngest son of four siblings, said he no longer wants to work on a rompong.

"My parents agree," he said.

In this undated photo released by Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka, 18-year-old Aldi Novel Adilang is seen on a wooden fish trap floating in the waters near the island of Guam. The Indonesian teenager has survived about 7 weeks adrift at sea after the floating wooden fish trap he was employed to mind slipped its moorings. Aldi's parents and the Indonesian Consulate in Osaka, Japan, said he was rescued by a Panamanian-flagged vessel off Guam on Aug. 31 and returned to Indonesia earlier this month. (Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka via AP)
The 18-year-old was found floating in the waters near the island of Guam. (Indonesian Consulate General) Source: Associated Press



Perth mum who accused kids of hanging daughter from tree with skipping rope handed restraining order

A Perth mother is readying for a court battle, following a much publicised bullying case involving her daughter.

Belinda Yoon's 10-year old daughter Amber was allegedly hung from a tree with a skipping rope, but is now facing a restraining order from the parents of the children accused of doing it.

In an emotional post on social media, Ms Yoon spoke about her frustrations in the apparent protection of her daughter's abusers.

"Apparently I've been driving past their house in an agitated state, for one I had no idea about their first names or even where they lived," a tearful Ms Yoon said.

"I'd love to know how they could cause us even more heartache, when we have already hurt enough.

"Let us heal, let us try and move on from this and I was trying to do that in a really positive way to try and create change for everybody.

"It feels like I'm almost getting bullied myself because they just want me to be silenced and I won't be."

Ms Yoon will appear in the magistrates court next month, saying she will challenge the restraining order.

“She honestly thought she was going to die,” Amber Yoon said through tears of her 10-year-old daughter. Source: Nine


Scott Morrison says nation must embrace divisive Australia Day, but calls for another day to recognise indigenous Australians

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the nation must embrace Australia Day "warts and all", but has called for another day to be set aside to recognise indigenous Australians.

Mr Morrison says January 26, 1778 is when "the ships turned up" in Australia.

"We can't pretend that it's some other day that it happened ... we've got to embrace it all, warts and all," he told the Nine Network today.

But Mr Morrison believes there should be a separate day to acknowledge 60,000 years of indigenous history.

"We don't have to pull Australia Day down to actually recognise the achievements of indigenous Australians, the oldest living culture in the world," he told the Seven Network.

"The two can coexist."

The federal government has stripped a NSW council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies, after it refused to hold them on the national holiday, opting instead for January 25.

Mr Morrison said if council's such as Byron Shire Council want to treat citizenship ceremonies like a "political football", the Commonwealth can easily go elsewhere.

"Citizenship is about the citizens, it's not about the egos of councillors," he said.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said the opposition also supports Australia Day remaining on January 26 and is open to the idea of an additional day to recognise indigenous Australians.

But Labor is disappointed the prime minister has flouted such a "significant idea" through the media without consultation.

"It's disrespectful," she tweeted.

"Unlike Scott Morrison, we'll consult indigenous people and our indigenous caucus about whether a proper day of recognition with an additional public holiday is a positive way forward - we're open to it."

Byron Mayor Simon Richardson has said Australia Day caused pain in a section of the community and questioned whether the values of a fair go and mateship were being reflected.

"Is it true mateship to willingly, willfully and continually to celebrate what rightfully is great to be an Australian on a day that some Australians are pained by?" the Greens mayor told 3AW.

Immigration Minister David Coleman said citizenship ceremonies should be about bringing communities together.

"The council's actions are divisive and the Australian government will not stand by and allow this to happen," he said.

The government last year removed the right to host citizenship ceremonies from Melbourne's City of Yarra and Darebin councils after they voted not to hold them on January 26.

Commonwealth Games hold an indigenous welcome
Source: Te Karere