Center for Biomechanical & Rehabilitation Engineering, CBRE

The CBRE lab is focused on studying human mobility (including balance, posture and gait) for unimpaired as well as impaired populations.  The lab, which opened in Fall 2015, is a state-of the art research and education space equipped with the following:


Tekscan Walkway System

The Walkway system is used to measure footplate force and pressure data needed to assess standing balance and gait. The system includes an 8-foot walkway (equipped with force sensors) and Tekscan software. The software assesses patient movements by generating gait tables (e.g., velocity, steps/min, cadence), raw force data, video, footplate pressure mapping, and other data.

Student athlete standing on the Tekscan Forceplate Walkway (left) as center-of-pressure and force data is acquired (above)
Student athlete standing on the Tekscan Forceplate Walkway (left) as center-of-pressure and force data is acquired (above)

 


Vicon Motion Capture System

The Vicon motion capture system is an infrared marker-tracking system that utilizes ten cameras around the perimeter of the capture volume. The equipment is outfitted with infrared (IR) optical filters, IR light emitting diodes (LEDs), and a set of reflective markers. The reflective markers are arranged on the body of the subject, and reflect the IR radiation emitted by the LEDs. The Vicon software system is equipped to interact with the camera automatically.  The software then processes the images taken from the cameras to construct a three-dimensional representation of the markers. This allows for images, videos, and kinematic analysis of the human subjects during movements (e.g., standing balance and gait).  The system is shown below.


NaviGAITor system

The NaviGAITor is an ambulatory suspension and rehabilitation apparatus developed by Devdas Shetty (Dean of SEAS). This relatively new device is being used for both clinical and research applications. UDC is home to 1 of only 2 NaviGAITor systems that exist nationwide. The NaviGAITor system (shown below) can be used in physical therapy and treatment for patients with muscle weakness, and neurological or musculoskeletal injuries and diseases. This system enables exercise and allows movement training in all three planes of motion without risk of injury due to falls. The operation of the entire system can be directed manually or automatically.

CBRE Image
Top: Vicon Motion Capture (cameras on tripods) and NaviGAITor system (yellow gantry); Bottom: Subject using the Vicon markers, Tekscan Forceplate Walkway and NaviGAITor system (left) & Vicon Motion Capture software (right)

 


Delsys Surface Electromyography (sEMG) system

The CBRE Lab is equipped with a wireless Delsys surface Electromyography (sEMG) system (shown below).  Surface EMG is a non-invasive technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity of skeletal muscles. Surface EMG assesses muscle function by recording muscle activity from the skin surface above the muscle. The EMG signals can be analyzed to detect muscle activation level and synergies, which allows interpretation the biomechanics of human posture.

Top: Delsys sEMG system with 16 wireless electrodes (left), sEMG data acquisition software (right); Bottom: Application of sEMG sensor on muscle of interest (left), electrical activity, and tri-directional accelerations, of the muscle (right)
Top: Delsys sEMG system with 16 wireless electrodes (left), sEMG data acquisition software (right); Bottom: Application of sEMG sensor on muscle of interest (left), electrical activity, and tri-directional accelerations, of the muscle (right)

Open bionics prosthetic hand

The Open Bionics, Inc. prosthetic hand is a 3D printed hand that is controlled by actuators, which move each individual finger. For control of the prosthetic, robotic hand, an Arduino programming environment and ATMEGA 2650 microcontroller are used.

Open bionics robotic prosthetic hand
Open bionics robotic prosthetic hand

PHAS Generation 1 Prototype

The Portable Harness Ambulatory System (PHAS) Generation 1 Prototype was constructed from a design produced by UDC’s Mechanical Engineering faculty and students. The main concept behind the PHAS Generation 1 was to allow user to operate the device on their own (e.g., to lift oneself from a seated position, such as wheelchair to standing position). The purpose of this prototype is to aid individuals who suffer from balance impairments by enabling them to exercise in their home environment.