Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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News in 2014


NIDRR Researcher to Serve as Editor-in-Chief of JNER
David Reinkensmeyer, PhD, co-principal investigator of the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury for Reintegration into Society (MARS3), was named editor-in-chief for the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (JNER). JNER provides a forum for researchers and clinicians interested in understanding the way neuroscience and biomedical engineering are continuing to reshape physical medicine and rehabilitation. 


MARS KineAssist designer Julio Santos featured in the Chicago Tribune.  

Click here for more information

MARS3 leaders quoted in an exciting new article on rehab robots

Rehabilitation: Machine recovery, Nature


Heike Vallery and her colleagues Marc Bolliger (University of Zürich) and Peter Lutz (Lutz Medical Engineering) won the prestigious "euRobotics Technology Transfer Award 2014", with their project "THE FLOAT - Transparent Support for Active 3D Gait Training". The final round and the award ceremony took place on March  13, 2014 at the European Robotics Forum, Rovereto, Italy.    For more information



Sept 3

June 26

MARS co-director David Reinkensmeyer to give a keynote at the upcoming ICORR 2013 conference, Seattle, WA, USA.

June 23

The MARS group will present an over view of our centers' outcomes in a special podium session at the upcoming RESNA meeting, Bellevue WA, USA.

Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and its partners will develop an internationally acclaimed center designed to develop and evaluate the utility of robotics for rehabilitation. This center will work toward a future where robotics for rehabilitation are used from applications in therapy to assistance in improvement of managing life after neural injury. As in the past cycles, the focus is substantially on recovery from stroke because they are the largest user group requiring intensive rehabilitation and assistance. However, it will also be a pilot for new applications in spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and aging, which are also suitable to this maturing field.

Our broad objective is to broaden the use of robotic devices for therapy and/or assistance. While such devices can monitor gains in movement ability, they will also encourage people to train effectively, and will be part of their users’ lives by assisting them in accomplishing desired activities beyond the laboratory.

Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke (MARS) is a center of excellence established by funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research's (NIDRR). Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) program. Our research focuses on robots for rehabilitation therapy after hemispheric stroke, which is the most common neurological disorder that requires intensive and prolonged rehabilitation. Devices that assist the therapist in providing rationally based, intensive and long duration stroke treatments can also be used to monitor progress and help improve functional performance.

RIC, together with its multi-national partners at Northwestern University, University of Illinois at ChicagoIllinois Institute of TechnologyUniversity of California at Irvine, ETH in Zurich , INAOE, Puebla, Mexico and UAB | The University of Alabama at Birmingham  make up a multicenter effort to use robots to explore new approaches that improve functional outcomes during either reach-and-grasp or full body locomotion activities. There are six key subprojects of intensive study: development, research and training.

Research training is a critical component that includes medical students, residents, physical therapists, occupational therapists and graduate students in engineering and neuroscience. We will leverage the RIC Academy for continuing education, on-site training and archived web-based presentations network.

Robotic activity mobility center in a fitness center for people with neurologic disability

David A. Brown, PT, PhD, PI, University of Alabama at Birmingham
James Rimmer, PhD, subcontract PI, Lakeshore Foundation
Julio Santos, MSME, subcontract PI, HDT Robotics

A multi-user virtual training environment for upper extremity therapy in the home

Derek Kamper, PhD, RIC, IlT, PI
Daria Tsoupikova, M.F.A., UIC, Co-PI
Nikolay Stoykov, PhD, RIC, Co-I
Randy Vick, ATR-BC, SAIC, Co-I
Heidi Fischer, MS, OTR/L, RIC, Research Therapist

Community-ready upper extremity interactive rehabilitation

James Patton, PhD, NU and RIC, PI
Robert Kenyon, PhD, UIC EVL, Co-PI

Development of expertise in use of exoskeletons for walking in individuals with spinal cord injury 

Arun Jayaraman, PT, PhD, RIC & NU, PI
William Zev Rymer, MD, PhD, RIC & NU, Co-PI

A body-machine interface for promoting motor recovery while controlling assistive devices. 

Ferdinando Mussa-Ivaldi, RIC & NU, PI   
Camilla Pierella

Wheelchair-based, robotic, upper extremity exercise and power-assisted propulsion

David J. Reinkensmeyer, PhD, U.C. Irvine, PI
Dan Zondervan, MS, U.C. Irvine, Co-I
Richard Harvey, MD, RIC, Co-I

Wearable robotics for fall prevention

Dr.-Ing. Heike. Vallery, PI, TU Delft, NL and UAE
Hans Arendzen, MD, Co-Pi, ILeiden University Medical Center, NL 

Application of avatar systems

Robert Kenyon, PhD, UIC EVL, Co-PI
Jason Leigh

Find out more about what took place in previous grant cycles. 

This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, NIDRR-RERC, Grant Number H133E120010.