Sarah Horton, Cecilia Lou, Joshua Ching
uOttawa Bionics is a multidisciplinary engineering team developing mechatronic and bionic devices to enhance the quality of life and rehabilitation. The team is currently developing, Allonstride, a 4-DOF hip-mounted exoskeleton to assist in the rehabilitation of stroke patients with reduced muscular strength. The torque provided by the device supplements the user and takes a portion of their weight, allowing them to continue normal activities. It gradually decreases the provided torque until the user has fully recovered. In the United States, stroke is the number one cause of severe long-term disability and of the 1 out 3 people that experiences a stroke each year worldwide, will be left with a disability. These may include paralysis or movement problems, sensory disturbances, and language problems. Exoskeletons are a form of wearable technology that aims to enhance or aid human motion. They are a valuable tool in assisting in muscle training and regaining independence after a stroke. Exoskeletons encourage neuroplasticity, a reorganization of neural connections in the brain throughout an individual’s life, by providing patients with sensory input and learning through repetitive and intensive movements while reducing the labor required by caretakers. These devices are portable and can be used in day-to-day life, outside of a clinical setting.