Lower-limb wearable robotics for augmenting and restoring movementExport this event to calendar

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 — 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM EST

Research seminar 

Wearable robotic systems have the potential to augment and restore human mobility in dynamic ‘real-world’ environments of the home, community, and clinic. To provide value to the user, wearable robotic systems must coordinate with the users’ diverse physiologies and needs that can be influenced by injury, illness, disability, or desired task. Designing for this variability remains a challenge that is limiting practical application of assistive and rehabilitation robotics. I will present on how I have begun to address some of these challenges in the development of wearable robotics that can account for human and environmental demands.

First, I will present on my implementation of B-mode ultrasound imaging to directly measure the effect of elastic ankle exoskeleton assistance on underlying muscle dynamics during walking. Building off this prior work, I will present on my development and evaluation of a muscle-based assistance strategy for individualized and activity-specific ankle exosuit assistance profiles in healthy young adults. Finally, I will discuss my work in developing and evaluating wearable robotics for assisting and rehabilitating gait in individuals’ post stroke in the lab, clinic, and community.

I will conclude by discussing future directions in applying these approaches to development of user-centric wearable robotics for clinical diagnostics, assistance, and rehabilitation. I will discuss my research focuses in three related critical areas: 1) Development and implementation of new wearable sensing and assistive technologies 2) fundamental and applied neuromechanics of human movement and human-machine interaction, 3) implementation and evaluation of this technology in salient environments.

Speaker biography 

Richard Nuckols is a post-doctoral research associate at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science and biomechanical research staff with Harvard Assistive Technology Initiative. Richard received a BS in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech, and PhD in biomedical engineering at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and NC State University. Richard’s research has focused on development and implementation of wearable sensing and assistive technologies, evaluation of human movement neuromechanics and human-robot interaction, and design and evaluation of wearable robots for post-stroke assistance and rehabilitation.

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