14:650:473 Design of Assistive Devices

Instructor: Kathryn B. Higgins, Ph.D.

Office Hours: After class or by appointment 

Course Time: Tuesday and Friday, 8:40 -10:00 am

Location: SEC 212


This course provides an introduction to the design of assistive devices and their effects on the biomechanics of human motion. Participants study biomechanics of normal human activity and consider the development of assistive devices to improve or maintain the life of people with permanent or temporary disabilities. Key elements to take away from the class include: Pathology of sensory-motor systems, how assistive technology can help restore physical independence, design considerations with human factors, and safety and reliability considerations.



Have a nice summer!



Course Syllabus

Group Projects

Project Guidelines

Midterm Proposal Guidelines

Grading Sheets for Presentations

Grading Sheets for Written Reports

Final Exam 2009




#1 Introduction to the Design of Assistive Devices

#2 Human Factors and Universal Design

#3 The Design Process

#4 Overview of Anatomy and Physiology, Movement Terminology

#5 Classical Mechanics (Rigid Body Mechanics, Newton's Laws of Motion)

Classical Mechanics (Past Semester’s Lecture)

#6 Tissue Mechanics I (Bone)

#7 Tissue Mechanics II (Cartilage, Muscle, Ligament and Tendon)

#8 Disease and Disabling Conditions

#9 Joint Mechanics – Upper Limb Orthotics and Prosthetics

#10 Joint Mechanics – Lower Limb Orthotics and Prosthetics

#11  Joint Mechanics – Spine Orthotics and Prosthetics

#12 Seating Intervention

#13 User Interface


Schedule of Presentations

“Changes in muscle activity in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy while walking with and without ankle-foot orthoses

“Biomechanics of bone-fracture fixation by stiffness-graded plates in comparison with stainless-steel plates

“Astronaut Bio-Suit System to Enable Planetary Exploration”

“Recent Advances in Sports Medicine”

“A prototype power assist wheelchair that provides for obstacle detection and avoidance for those with visual impairments”

“Evaluation of alternative computer input devices used by people with disabilities

“Development of a lightweight and adaptable multiple-axis hand prosthesis”

“Maximising Somersault Rotation in Tumbling”

“Mechanics and control of the flat versus normal foot during the stance phase of walking”

“A Rehabilitation Tool for Functional Balance Using Altered Gravity and Virtual Reality”

“Biomechanical Analysis of Rollator Walking

“Martial arts fall techniques decrease the impact forces at the hip during sideways falling”

“Current Concepts in the Rehabilitation of the Overhead Throwing Athlete”

"Exotendons for assistance of human locomotion"

“The Role of Biomechanics in Maximising Distance and Accuracy of Golf Shots”

“Powered Lower Limb Orthoses for Gait Rehabilitation”

A noncontact sensor for measurement of distal residual-limb position during walking”

"Principle and design of a mobile arm support for people with muscular weakness"

“The effect of a shock-absorbing pylon on the gait of persons with unilateral transtibial amputation  

“Socially Assistive Robots For Post-stroke Rehabilitation

“Biomechanics of a Double Prosthetic Ligament in the Anterior Cruciate Deficient Knee”

“A Virtual Headstick System for People with Spinal Cord Injuries”

Kinematic Analysis And Evaluation Of Wheelchair Mounted Robotic Arms”

“The Design Of A Five-degree-of-freedom Powered Orthosis For The Upper Limb”

Wheelchair Seating Intervention: Results from a Client-Centered Approach”



William Craelius, Ph.D. (BME) Interfacing with the Neuromuscular System”

Joseph DiDonado(OCLTT) "Patent Law Introduction"

Peng Song, Ph.D. (MAE)Design and User-Customization of Human-Worn Assistive Devices”