Congrats to Jane Guo for Obtaining her Master's Degree in BME!

Post date: Apr 28, 2017 3:20:57 PM

Master's student Jane Guo has graduated with her thesis titled: "A Portable Eddy Current Braking Device for Upper-Extremity Functional Resistance Training", which she successfully defended on April 24th, 2017. An abstract of the work is presented below:

Loss of arm function is common in individuals with neurological damage, such as stroke or cerebral palsy. Robotic devices that address muscle strength deficits in a task-

specific manner can assist in the recovery of arm function; however, current devices are typically large, bulky, and expensive to be routinely used in the clinic or at home. To address this issue, we developed a portable, passive planar reaching robot using eddy current brakes. We then performed theoretical analysis of the robot’s resistive force generating capacity and steerable workspace using Matlab simulations. We also validated the device by having a subject move the end effector along different paths at a set velocity using a metronome while simultaneously collecting surface electromyography (EMG) and end-effector forces felt by the user. Results from simulation experiments indicated that the robot was capable of producing sufficient end-effector forces for functional resistance training. We also found the endpoint forces from the user were similar to the theoretical forces expected at any direction of motion. EMG results indicated that the device was capable of providing adjustable resistances based on subjects’ ability levels, as the muscle activation levels scaled with increasing magnet exposures. These results indicate that this upper extremity device is a promising approach to provide functional resistance training to the muscles along the upper extremity, but further testing is needed to determine the possible therapeutic benefits of this device.

Committee Chair: Chandramouli Krishnan, PT, PhD

Committee Members: C. David Remy, PhD, Cynthia Chestek, PhD, Jane Huggins, PhD