Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital

Advanced Technology & Rehabilitation

Many individuals, due to their physical or neurological condition, have difficulty in using their arms and hands, or in moving themselves from one place to another. This has a large impact on their ability to perform daily tasks and on quality of life. The Research Unit on Advanced Technology & Rehabilitation is dedicated to study how technology can be used to help rehabilitate arm function and mobility. This may be done either by designing new tools that can provide rehabilitation exercises or that can provide direct assistance.

In our laboratory, we are focusing on robotic technology and virtual reality for the rehabilitation of arm movements. Sensor technology and virtual reality is also used to monitor and assess powered wheelchair driving skills, in order to develop better evaluation and training approaches.

List of current projects

Dr. Philippe S. Archambault

  • Smart Powered Assistive Device (SPAD):  this project aims at developping and testing a robotic device, in order to assist with arm movements. The robot will not replace arm function, but will support and assist arm movements of individuals who lack the strenght or endurance to move independently; for example people with muscular distrophy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or other neurological disorders.
  • Measurement of powered wheelchair driving skills: The goal of this project is to assess powered wheelchair driving skills, using sensors that are installed on the wheelchair. These sensors include accelerometers, pressure sensors and GPS, to measure the movement of the wheelchair. This new tool will lead to a better measurement of driving skills, which will lead to better, more indiviualized wheelchair training programs.
  • Powered wheelchair driving simulator. We have developped a 3D, computer-based powered wheelchair simulator, which can provide a realistic experience. Individuals in need of a powered wheelchair can practice their driving skills in the simulator. In addition, they can practice more complex tasks such as driving in a simulated crowded environment, without the risk of injury to themselves or others.