Off-Campus - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Neurological injuries including stroke and spinal cord injury are some of the leading causes of long-term disability today; therefore, many research efforts are focused on designing maximally effective and efficient treatment methods. In particular, robotic rehabilitation has received significant attention for upper-limb therapy due to its ability to provide high-intensity repetitive movement therapy with less effort than would be required for traditional methods. Recent research has focused on increasing patient engagement in therapy, which has been shown to be important for inducing neural plasticity to facilitate recovery. Robotic therapy devices enable unique methods for promoting patient engagement by providing assistance only as needed and by detecting patient movement intent to drive to the device. This talk will survey recent advances in this field, highlighting in particular efforts in the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab at Rice University. My group has proposed and validated novel exoskeleton-type robotic devices, objective assessments, and adaptive control architectures for upper extremity rehabilitation, all with the intention of promoting patient engagement in therapy. I will discuss our recent contributions and directions for the future of the field.