Lamar University’s (LU) Department of Industrial Engineering is making progress on a long-term project to improve the mobility of people with neurological diseases through the development of a hybrid, brain-computer, interface-based rehabilitation system.
“The idea started with my collaboration
with Dr. Yueqing Li,” Department of Industrial Engineering Associate
Professor and Graduate Advisor Weihang Zhu, referring to another assistant
professor in the department, said. “He came in with expertise in brain-computer
interface and we proposed to work together on this rehabilitation project. I
knew that if we could get a grant to get the project going, we’d make the first
steps, then it would grow and grow.”
The project received a grant from LU’s
Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (CICE), allowing
them to tackle the first step: researching, developing and improving their
interface through testing with a prosthetic hand, created with the department’s
3D printer and open source software.
“We will design a user interface; it will
let us give a command, like ‘grab something,’ and have the prosthetic hand
respond only to grab,” Zhu said. “We want to make it more precise than that. Once we can
figure out how to rotate the hand parts with better control, we can use the
interface to simulate any reasonable motion.”
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