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Low-Cost Tactile Displays for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Age-related medical conditions are responsible for most cases of blindness and visual impairment worldwide. In 2015, there were an estimated 36 million blind people in the world, with an additional 217 million suffering from moderate to severe vision impairment. Over 80% of the visually impaired were older than 50, and this percentage is expected to...
EverActive: Strength Tracking Sensor for Sustainable Personalized Training
Exercise is key to good health, where aerobic and strength training are the two essential types. Industry has developed a number of aids and appliances ranging from sports watches to large stationary equipment to help track aerobic activities. Meanwhile, people still have to record manually their strength workouts and only few can do it, as...
FOAMs: Soft Robotic Artificial Muscles
Soft robots, similar to living organisms, are made from compliant materials that allow them great flexibility and adaptability for tasks at the human-robot interface and elsewhere. To enable soft robotic missions in different industrial, exploratory, and medical settings, engineers are trying to equip them with artificial muscles that could enable them to move smoothly, efficiently...
Flexible Embedded Liquid Sensors
As we shift from carrying electronic devices in our pockets and purses to wearing them on our bodies, those devices need to be able to move and stretch with us, and to sense our movements in order to better do so. Such sensors must remain functional when stretched to several times their resting length, resist...
Soft Exosuits for Back Support During Strenuous Tasks
Over half a million workers in the manufacturing and construction industries are injured on the job each year, resulting in an estimated direct cost of $13.8 billion. Occupational back pain is the leading cause of injury and accounts for one-third of all musculoskeletal injuries, resulting in a median of eight days of missed work. Discussions...
Light-Reflecting Balloon Catheter for Heart Repair
Certain Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) called Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) occur when openings in the septum that divides the upper and lower heart chambers causes oxygen-rich blood from the upper chamber to mix with oxygen–poor blood from lower chamber. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ASD alone...
Flexible Force Sensors for Microrobotics
As robots have gotten smaller, softer, and more maneuverable, they’ve opened up myriad possibilities for interacting with objects on a tiny scale, including on and in the human body. However, human hands still have a major advantage over robots: the ability to feel. Researchers at the Wyss Institute are using the Pop-Up MEMS manufacturing technique...
Flexible Robots for Endoscopic Procedures
Endoscopes are a standard device in gastrointestinal medicine, used by surgeons to noninvasively see and take biopsies from tissues along the entire digestive tract. However, endoscopes themselves amount to hollow tubes with a camera and light attached, through which different instruments are threaded to the procedure site, and are rigid and not very maneuverable. Two...
Soft Robotic Shoulder Support for Stroke Rehabilitation
The majority of stroke survivors have difficulty using their affected arm in everyday life. Commercial rehabilitation robots exist, but most are expensive, rigid, non-portable exoskeletons that can only be used in clinical rehabilitation settings. Portable devices could considerably increase the frequency and amount of robotic therapy, maximizing the recovery possible for patients with arm impairments....
Soft Robotic Glove for Neuromuscular Rehabilitation
The majority of people with neurological conditions, such as stroke and spinal cord injury, experience loss of motor function in one or both hands, which can greatly reduce quality of life. Tasks often taken for granted become frustrating or nearly impossible due to tight spastic muscles, reduced grasping strength, and general lack of coordination in...
Flexi-Mitts: Neuromoter and Cognitive Ability Tracker
Advances in medical care have improved the survival of very low birth weight premature infants but at the same time have also led to an increased number of surviving infants with reduced cerebral growth and long-term neurodevelopmental motor, cognitive, and social morbidities. These complications are met by a lack of early assessment tools for diagnosing...
Soft Exosuits for Lower Extremity Mobility
Our lower-extremity soft exosuit is made of light, flexible fabrics that move with the wearer like clothing, and apply precisely timed assistive forces to a patient's ankles to improve their walking and mobility. This technology was licensed by ReWalk Robotics, which has commercialized it as the ReStore™ for stroke rehabilitation.