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Investigating relationships between human-exosystem adaptation and baseline sensorimotor & cognitive tests to improve system fluency
PhD Student, Medical Engineering & Medical Physics (MEMP)
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology
Individuals’ ability to adapt and learn to use an exosystem vary widely, even within healthy populations. The reasons for this are unknown and could stem from individual differences in cognitive, perceptual, or motor factors. It is necessary to gain an understanding of the underlying reasons behind varying adaptability to exosystems to improve fluency of the human-exosystem team. Fluency is a construct used in the field of human-robot interaction to evaluate the effectiveness of a human-robot team. It is possible to improve fluency by affecting the robot (i.e. by changing control algorithms), in this case the exosystem, or by affecting the human. This proposal will focus on improving fluency by affecting the human through methods such as feedback provision during exosystem use or creation of training paradigms to augment adaptation and learning. A battery of sensorimotor & cognitive tests relevant to exosystem-perturbed gait will be generated. Subjects complete this battery of tests and subsequently be exposed to a 1-DOF powered ankle exosystem that assists in plantarflexion. Relationships between subject performance on the battery of tests and adaptation time series with the exosystem will be explored. Insights from these relationships will inform strategies for improving fluency in the human-exosystem pair. These strategies will be implemented and effect on fluency and human performance compared across strategies.