Robotics and Rehabilitation



Navid Shirzad, PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering, RREACH Lab ~ Rehabilitation Robotics

Nick Snow, Masters Science Student in Rehabilitation Sciences ,  Brain Behaviuor Lab ~ Robo-Wrist Rehabilitation

AJung Moon, PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering , Vanier Scholar, CARIS Lab ~ Robo-Ethics

Navid: The healthcare sector is increasingly becoming dependent on medical devices and technologies. This is facilitated, in part, by the emphasis that is being put on the robustness of the design of medical and rehabilitation devices. The robustness of the design, and thus the adoption of a new medical device, relies heavily on its ability to fit into the multifaceted medical environment and satisfy a wide range of user needs. In order to achieve this, users and stakeholders must be involved early and frequently in the design process. In his talk, Navid will outline a user-centred approach to design of physical therapy devices using a case study on developing an upper-body motor rehabilitation platform.

Nick: The utilities and applications of rehabilitation robotics interventions for human movement disorders have grown in breadth and depth throughout the past several years. Particularly in stroke, rehabilitation robotics has been a rapidly advancing area of research; however, the clinical efficacy of such interventions has not yet been fully established. Especially in upper limb therapy, robotics interventions have been shown to increase and decrease elements of motor function and impairment, respectively; and novel research is seeking to investigate the applicability of combining noninvasive brain stimulation with robotic devices. Nick’s presentation will provide an overview of current rehabilitation robotics research in upper-limb therapy for persons with stroke and discuss the clinical efficacy of such interventions.

AJung: As interactive robots become substantially more accessible to the general public in the near future, one of the main concerns for designers  is in implementing socially acceptable and ethical human-robot interaction for non-expert users.  One approach to addressing this concern is to develop a robot that can take advantage of human moral decision making – much of which are suggested to be based on intuition and strongly connected with the emotional part of the human brain, rather than the rational part of the brain.  In her talk, AJung will present the promising, yet cautionary, tales of the moral synergy robots and humans can create.

Free wine and cheese reception to follow.

January 21, 2015, 6pm @ Paetzold Auditorium, Vancouver General Hospital