Chris Nycz, PhD Student

Hometown: Wallkill, NY

Previous degrees/school where the degree was earned:

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Clarkson University

Why did you choose WPI for your PhD?

At Clarkson I did research in the area of medical and rehabilitative robotics and wished to continue work in this area in graduate school. WPI’s programs dedicated to robotics engineering seemed to offer many great opportunities and the work being carried out in medical robotics was of great interest to me.

What area(s) of research are you currently exploring?

I am currently working in the Automation and Interventional Medicine (AIM) Lab exploring the use of soft, exomusculature robotics for use in stroke rehabilitation and assistive care. The goal is to develop a device to help stroke victims regain strength and functionality in their affected arm by enabling them to exercise their muscles and complete tasks while maintaining a feeling of independence. The therapy helps prevent muscle atrophy while rebuilding neuronal connections.

Briefly describe the research:

Currently the project has achieved cable driven, assisted actuation of the fingers and elbow through the use of electric motors. The current mechanical aims of the project are to add wrist actuation and package all the actuators and electronics in a way to make them portable. The current control aims of the project are to incorporate finger flex sensing, pressure sensing, and EMG data to determine user intent and provide feedback to the controller.

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