A wearable assistive device for improving quality of life

Mobility of the upper extremities has a significant impact on independence and quality of life. For individuals with neuromuscular disorders due to aging, stroke, injury, or other diseases, the activities of daily living (such as eating and dressing) can be very challenging. However, biomedical robotic technologies offer a promising tool with which to improve the mobility of individuals with impaired upper extremities.

Collaborating with experts in the field of neuromuscular rehabilitation, Dr. Carlo Menon is leading the design and development of a smart assistive medical device that is portable and wearable. The objective is to develop a device that will assist with functional movements and strengthen muscular tone of the weakened or impaired extremities. The device will have potential use for both upper extremity assistance and rehabilitation.

This research will improve the quality of life for individuals with neuromuscular disorders by restoring mobility of the upper extremities. The proposed project will include the following phases: a) interaction with the neuromuscular collaborators to iteratively reformulate the design; b) the engineering design and development of the biomedical robotic device; c) the engineering testing of the device; d) a study of the interactions between the device and both healthy volunteers and individuals with neuromuscular disorders to verify that the device can assist functional movements; e) technology transfer to neuromuscular scientists and clinicians.