Quentin Sanders is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University as a part of the Closed-Loop Engineering for Advanced Rehabilitation core. He also currently holds a position at Google X, working on an early stage robotics project. He received his B.Sc degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, his MS and PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of California Irvine. His research interest focus on understanding sensorimotor control of the limbs and how that changes for individuals who have suffered from neurological injuries, the factors that influence rehabilitation, and developing wearable robotic technology based on this understanding to facilitate motor recovery.
The hand is a highly complex machine as evidenced by its mechanical structure and the large amount of cortical resources it requires for both sensation and motor control. Stroke is a pervasive, global problem that causes disability by damaging hand neural control systems. Movement practice can help drive the changes in neural connectivity needed to restore these systems, however, stroke patients typically undertake limited amounts of movement practice. The premise of this dissertation is that mechanical engineering techniques, and, specifically, the appropriate design of robotic therapy technologies based on an engineering-informed understanding of human hand mechanics and function, can improve the biomedical situation for individuals after a stroke. Specifically, this talk addresses the question “How do we optimize the usage of wearable robotic technologies for hand rehabilitation after stroke?” Here we demonstrate progress in answering this question by considering three key areas: usership patterns of wearable hand sensing technology in real-world settings, sensory and motor control of the hand after stroke, and the mechanical design and intuitive control of wearable soft robotic technologies for the hand.
Meeting ID: 984 8271 3919