As a patient struggling to walk after a serious accident on the drive across the country to graduate school, Kathleen O’Donnell became acutely aware of the role mobility can play in quality of life. With this new insight, Kathleen focused her studies on prosthetics and assisted devices. In her own words, “As I became more involved in medical robotics…I realized there are many non-traditional approaches to robotics, and that by transforming the way that we think about robots, we can transform our relationship with them and the types of challenges we can design them to solve.”
With this mindset, Kathleen became a part of the team adapting the “exosuit”, a soft wearable robot, to address mobility issues stemming from neurological disease. After hearing feedback from a patient, Kathleen found that the exosuit was more than a solution, but a form of liberation. Watch her 2018 TEDMED Talk to learn more about the field of medical robotics, the current strides that are being made and the future possibilities.