New Faculty Spotlight: Kim Ingraham
What is your Research Focus?
Assistive robotic technologies, like prostheses, exoskeletons, and semi-autonomous powered wheelchairs, have the potential to meaningfully transform human mobility. Yet, we don’t know how to apply robotic assistance to the human body in a way that promotes meaningful neuromotor improvements or affects someone’s daily functional mobility.
The overall goal of our research is to fundamentally discover how individuals interact with robotic assistance and to use this information to design translational assistive technologies that improve an individual’s mobility. To this end, we design and evaluate personalized, adaptive control strategies for exoskeletons, prostheses, and powered wheelchairs. We consider the human ‘in the loop’ by incorporating physiological measurements and user feedback directly into the control scheme. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and leverages tools from neural engineering, neuromechanics, clinical rehabilitation, robotics & controls, and machine learning. We work closely with people who may benefit from assistive devices, including adults, children, and toddlers with or without disabilities.
Future research areas in the lab include designing and evaluating adaptive exoskeleton control strategies for children with cerebral palsy, quantifying a user’s preference and perception when interacting with robotic exoskeletons, building data-driven models of physiological quantities (like energy cost) from wearable sensors, and investigating how toddlers with disabilities learn to use accessible interfaces (like a joystick) for mobility and computer use.
What opportunities at the UW excite you?
At UW, I am most excited about joining such a dynamic and collaborative research environment. I am thrilled to be affiliated with UW CREATE (the Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences) and to serve as a core faculty member of the AMP lab to continue to foster collaborations between the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine. UW is the perfect place to conduct meaningful interdisciplinary research and to provide high quality education and training for students.