Assistive Mobility Technology

Despite the increasing demand for mobility assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and prosthetics, fundamental designs have stagnated. In particular, device designs have focused on assistance in straight-line walking and standing which account for only ~30% of all mobility activities. Considering the large majority of mobility comprises of adaptive mobility tasks (e.g., obstacle negotiation, turning, transfers), the aim of this research is to advance device designs to improve effectiveness across the breadth of real-world conditions encountered in daily life.

Sensor-based Assessment & Monitoring

While laboratory-based methods of examining human motor control (e.g., motion capture, electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG)) has deepened our understanding of the mechanisms for successful mobility, examining real-world gait and balance behavior remains limited. In particular, adapting to the complex, dynamic environment is a critical capability for successful mobility. Research conducted in this program aims to develop and apply novel real-world measurement methods using wearable, mobile, and ambient sensors.


Considering the number of seniors (65 years and older) in Ontario is projected to rise from 2.4M to 4.6M million by 2041 and risk for chronic conditions increases with age, demand for rehabilitation services is expected to strain service capacity.  To mitigate the impending growth in demand, emerging rehabilitation technologies (e.g., robotics, exergaming) aim to improve access, capacity, and delivery of motor rehabilitation. To support adoption and effective application of such technologies, the NRE Lab works in close collaboration with our clinical partners to enhance and grow capacity for motor rehabilitation services.