RBE Colloquium: Advances in Wearable Robotics and Technologies for Mobility and Neurorehabilitation Research

Friday, February 09, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Floor/Room #: 


 Ghaith J Androwis, Ph.D
Advances in Wearable Robotics and Technologies for Mobility and Neurorehabilitation Research

Abstract: The potential of improving ambulation and enhancing mobility for individuals with different types of neurological disabilities is possible through the use of robotic exoskeletons. Yet, current robotic technology, when used for rehabilitation or as assistive devices for over ground walking, should consider user intended movements to achieve more biologically similar gait patterns.

The developed robotic exoskeleton in collaboration between New Jersey Institute of Technology and Kessler Foundation, the New Jersey Trekker, includes sufficient degrees of freedom, joint torque and sensing capabilities to permit the generation of a more natural gait controlled in real-time by the user’s intended movements. The primary control strategy of the Trekker employs admittance control to convey user hand movements to control the exoskeleton’s leg movement. It is expected that this novel interface will transform user-exoskeleton control strategies and enable the user to independently ambulate in the real-world, and enhance community independence. This talk will present a general overview of the research and development (design and control) of a new generation of lower extremity robot exoskeleton that allows for the implementation of novel, transformational user-exoskeleton control strategies and enables the modulations of design specifications based on user’s mobility impairments level and needs. This greatly enhances the individual’s independence and revolutionizes their quality of life. Additionally, examples on the utilization of commercially available technology and their benefits on individuals with neurological disability will also be discussed.

Bio:  Ghaith J Androwis, Ph.D. is Associate Research Scientist in the Human Performance and Engineering at Kessler Foundation (KF), and Clinical Research Scientist at Children’s Specialized Hospital. Dr. Androwis serves as Adjunct Professor and Research Assistant Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology. He graduated with PhD in Biomedical Engineering (concentration on Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation Engineering) from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Rutgers University. Dr. Androwis has successfully completed his first postdoctoral training in wearable robotics and rehabilitation at NJIT. His role was the research and development (R&D) of an inexpensive alternative to currently available robotic exoskeletons (lower extremity) for children with Cerebral Palsy and individuals with SCI that can be controlled with natural biological inputs with use of force sensors (under admittance control) and the creation of an upper extremity device for individuals with stroke and Muscular Dystrophy. Dr. Androwis has expertise in robotics, mobility, bio-mechatronics, 3D printing, rapid prototyping and rehabilitation in persons with neurological disorders and has had played major roles in a number of successful projects. Dr. Androwis is leading the research and development of the NJIT-KF lower extremity robotic exoskeletons (Trekker), which presents a new generation of robotic exoskeleton for over ground walking in individuals with mobility disorders (novel design and control). This project has recently been selected as one of the seven finalist projects at the 2017 International Symposium on Wearable and Rehabilitation Robotics held in Houston, TX, (November 2017), and won the best project presented at the conference.

Dr. Androwis joined the Human Performance and Engineering Lab at KF in 2015, to work on robotic exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation in persons with multiple sclerosis,  adults after brain injury (stroke, TBI) and children with brain injury (TBI, CP). Other areas includes functional electrical stimulation for rehabilitation of foot drop (using portable WalkAide). Further research area of interest includes the application of novel interventions (i.e. vestibular stimulation, Whole body vibration) on individuals with neuromuscular disability with the aim to reduce their level of disorder (Spasticity, Dystonia and muscle tone).

Dr. Androwis serves as a reviewer for Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference and has served as reviewer for the journal of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems and the IEEE Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR). Dr. Androwis is also a member of the IEEE society and is a member of the exoskeleton technical interchange group organized by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 - 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
60 Gateway Park, GP 1002