Browsing Category: Assistive Technologies

Exoskeleton builds muscle capacity, improves posture in cerebral palsy

Thomas Bulea and NIH colleagues have developed a robotic exoskeleton for children with cerebral palsy. “Crouch gait,” where a person walks with a perpetual bend in their knees, is a hallmark of the disease. This damages muscles and joints and  results in  paralysis for half of cerebral palsy patients. Bulea believes that increasing the amount […]

Algorithm-adjusted exoskeleton enables movement optimization, personalization

Juanjuan Zhang, Steven Collins and CMU colleagues have developed an algorithm that enables ankle exoskeletons to adapt to the wearer’s walk called “Human in the Loop Optimization.” In a recent study, by using indirect calorimetry to measure metabolic rates, torque was adjusted while users were walking, running, and carrying a load. At this stage, a […]

“Cybathlon” features robotic exoskeleton, BCI competitions

ETH professor Robert Riener‘s first Cybathlon will feature competitions using robotic prostheses and brain computer interfaces.  Disabled participants will compete in brain controlled races and exoskeleton controlled tasks.  Many  will include common obstacles, like doors, ramps, and stairs, as the goal is to develop technology to increase independence and make the activities of daily living […]

BCI controlled wheelchair

Miguel Nicolelis has developed a brain computer interface that allows monkeys to steer a robotic wheelchair with their thoughts.  The study is meant to demonstrate the potential of humans to do the same. Signals from hundreds of neurons simultaneously recorded in two brain regions were translated into the real-time operation of a wheelchair. Nicolelis said: “In […]

“Augmented attention” wearable assists the visually impaired

OrCam is a disruptive artificial vision company that creates assistive devices for the visually impaired.  It is led by Hebrew University professor Amnon Shashua. MyMe, its latest product, uses artificial intelligence to respond to audio and visual information in real-time.  A clip on camera and Bluetooth earpiece create what the company calls an “augmented attention” experience, […]

AR + Kinect games assist the hearing, visually impaired

Reflex Arc‘s  augmented reality games  work with  Microsoft Kinect to help children learn sign language and assist the visually impaired with exercise.   Boris gestures sign language, and  The Nepalese Necklace helps those with no limited sight  with mobility training. The games encourage exercise and  are designed to help blind children learn about  spatial awareness, balance, coordination, and orientation. […]

Virtual coaching for TBI patients

The Office of Naval Research is developing MOVER (Mobile, Virtual Enhancements for Rehabilitation) to help TBI patients maintain therapy regimens.  Confusion, forgetfulness or depression can prevent injured veterans from completing necessary exercises for rehabilitation. Featured movements include including lunges, knee raises and squats, which are standard for TBI therapy. When a user turns on a […]