Bio

I am interested in the design and development of technology for functional movement rehabilitation and enhancement. In recent years, technology and state-of-the-art engineering techniques have driven the success of wearable robotic devices (exoskeletons/exosuits) in demonstrating the ability to augment or improve human movement. However, technology is only a part of the whole system. For wearable robotics to provide discernable value in ‘real-world’ environments, they must coordinate with the user. My intended research program will use scientific and biomechanical principles and a human-in-the-loop cyclical engineering approach, “Understand-Build-Evaluate,” as the foundation. This process requires that we (1) Understand: Perform basic science studies and develop new tools to understand the mechanisms of human movement, (2) Build: Leverage our understanding to inform next-gen designs of assistive devices, and (3) Evaluate: Perform controlled experiments with devices towards improving understanding of human mechanisms and human-robot interaction which leads to the next iteration of designs. I am uniquely positioned to bring new and innovative perspective towards understanding and evaluating human response to wearable robotics through my approach and experience with using new sensing tools such as ultrasound and tensiometry.

 

     Development of effective human-robotic systems requires a wholistic approach involving a broad range of disciplines and areas of expertise. Therefore, it is valuable to describe my planned work first in terms of the individual research lab and then in terms of where this work fits and will be incorporated within the larger community. My research will focus on the human-robot system where an understanding of the interaction between components is equally as important as understanding the individual parts. My unique background in mechanical engineering and robotics with expertise in locomotion physiology will enable my research lab to work in this space capturing both robotics and the human. I have more recently employed these skills in a highly translational engineering lab and worked on understanding what is required to deploy assistive technology into inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities. My intended research program will use scientific and biomechanical principles and a human-in-the-loop cyclical engineering approach, “Understand-Build-Evaluate,” as the foundation (Fig. 1). This process requires that we (1) Understand: Perform basic science studies and develop new tools to understand the mechanisms of human movement, (2) Build: Leverage our understanding to inform next-gen designs of assistive devices, and (3) Evaluate: Perform controlled experiments with devices towards improving understanding of human mechanisms and human-robot interaction which leads to the next iteration of designs. I am uniquely positioned to bring new and innovative perspective towards understanding and evaluating human response to wearable robotics through my approach and experience with using new sensing tools such as ultrasound and tensiometry.

 

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