The Robotics And Rehabilitation (RoAR) Lab is focused on developing innovative robots and methods to help humans relearn, restore, or improve functional movements. The lab is housed both in Engineering and Medical campuses of Columbia University. Led by Dr. Sunil Agrawal, the lab works actively with clinical faculty from Columbia University Medical Center and hospitals around New York city. Human studies have targeted elderly subjects and patients with stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and others.
Robots are designed which are controlled by wires (or cables) in tension. A variety of fundamental questions in terms of design, workspace, control, human training have been addressed.
Classes of nonlinear dynamic systems can be transformed to linear and controllable forms using static and dynamic feedback. These structures often arise in dynamic equations of open and closed-chain robots, mobile vehicles, and chemical reactors. In some cases, the dynamic equations of a system may not naturally be in a differentially flat form. However, one can redesign a system through geometry and inertia distribution to make it in a differentially flat form.
Today, a team led by Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia Engineering, has published a pilot study in Science Robotics that demonstrates a robotic training method that improves posture and walking in children with crouch gait by enhancing their muscle strength and coordination.
Dario Martelli wins a 3-year fellowship from NY State Spinal Cord Injury Research Board. The title of his project is "Improving locomotor function after spinal cord injury with a perturbation-based balance training". His mentors are Dr. Sunil Agrawal and Dr. Martha Sliwinski (Physical Therapy). Congratulations!!
Designing Robots to Help Overcome Effects of Neurological Disorders
Many children are fascinated by robots, and those who recently tried out a new robotic technology in Sunil Agrawal’s lab are no different. But these children have cerebral palsy, and the robotic technology they tested helped improve their balance and mobility.