About the event
Title: Robotics for Assessment and Rehabilitation after Stroke
Presented by Eric Wolbrecht, Dean and Cindy Haagenson Mechanical Engineering Endowed Professor, University of Idaho
Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, affecting over 7 million people in the U.S. alone, where the total medical cost of stroke is over $40 billion annually. Many survivors of stroke experience hemiparesis requiring extensive and costly rehabilitation therapy. To meet this need, over the past several decades robotic devices have been developed and investigated for use in post-stroke rehabilitation and assessment. These robotic devices offer the potential to automate the repetitive and strenuous aspects of physical therapy do so in a highly repeatable manner. They also provide a new tool for assessing post-stroke impairment and evaluating the efficacy of movement therapy strategies. In this seminar, I will describe previous and ongoing projects in rehabilitation robotics, include Pneu-WREX, FINGER (Finger INdividuating Grasp Exercise Robot), THINGER (Thumb INdividuating Grasp Exercise Robot), and BLUE SABINO (BiLateral Upper-extremity Exoskeleton for Simultaneous Assessment of Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Output.
Eric Wolbrecht is the Dean and Cindy Haagenson Mechanical Engineering Endowed Professor at the University of Idaho. Wolbrecht received his doctorate in 2007 in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of California, Irvine. In August 2007 he became an assistant professor at the University of Idaho. His primary research has been focused on the design and control of robotic devices for rehabilitation after stroke. Wolbrecht has been a principal contributor to the design and development multiple robotic devices for neurorehabilitation, including the upper extremity device “Pneu-WREX” and FINGER (Finger INdividuating Grasp Exercise Robot) for movement therapy of the index and middle fingers. Current rehabilitation robotics projects include the development of THINGER (Thumb INdividuating Grasp Exercise Robot) andBLUE SABINO (BiLateral Upper-extremity Exoskeleton for Simultaneous Assessment of Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Output). Wolbrecht’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and The Dean and Cindy Haagenson Mechanical Engineering Endowed Professorship. In 2011, Wolbrecht received the Best Paper Award from the IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering for “Optimizing Compliant, Model-Based Robotic Assistance to Promote Neurorehabilitation,” which appeared in the journal in 2008. Wolbrecht was awarded the Presidential Mid-Career Award from the University of Idaho in 2015. Wolbrecht teaches courses in experimental methods, dynamic systems, state estimation, control systems, and robotics. Wolbrecht is a member of ASME and IEEE.