Additional Participants

Senior Personnel

Elizabeth DePoy

Graduate Student

Prashant Rao

Undergraduate Student

Brian McLaughlin
Eileen Gatewood
Kalee Gurschick
John Collett

Project Period

October 1, 2010-October 31, 2011

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



Intellectual Merit: The opportunities for inclusion in fitness activity for disabled individuals, particularly those with severe disabilities, are extremely limited due to intrinsic, environmental, and social factors. This BRIGE project focuses on advancing robotic technology as a strategy to promote fitness opportunities for a range of individuals with disabilities. This project will 1) design, test, and build a prototype robotic device called Robotic Rowing Exoskeleton (RRE) that will augment movement, coordination, and strength in the activity of rowing; 2) yield a complete dynamics model of rowing biomechanics and parameter determination via human subject data; 3) provide a model system through which biomechanics and parameter determination using human subject data can be translated into precise robotic-assisted movement; 4) integrate electromyography and robotics to create a prototype that will be responsive to individual user needs; and 5) advance the development of an ongoing research program in robotic devices for improved quality of life.

Broader Impacts: This project will be used as the foundation for the CIDER (Creating Investigator Diversity in Engineering Research) model with five major components. First, diverse students for whom the research agenda is personally relevant and compelling will be recruited to participate in all phases of the program. Second, each of the student researchers will engage in outreach in schools and a summer camp program for middle and high school students to perpetuate ongoing recruitment of diverse students into engineering research careers. Third, a video of RRE, its development, and its use will be made for on-site and virtual dissemination nationwide. Fourth, we will continue an ongoing program which hosts robotics demos for middle school and high school students, especially, women, to encourage them to pursue a career in Engineering. Finally, the model will be formalized and evaluated so that it can be expanded to encourage the involvement of other underrepresented groups in engineering.

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