Assisted Underwater Gait

This National Science Foundation National Robotics Initiative project investigates the ability to leverage Fluid Structure Interaction in the design of gait assistive systems and conducted in collaboration Prof. Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi, director of the FSI lab at UMass Amherst. We are attempting to use the vortices generated in the wake of an oscillating rod placed in a fluid flow to impart forces on a hydrofoil placed within the wake. When a hydrofoil is attached to a subject, this system can be used in conjunction with an underwater treadmill to interact with the gait of the subject in the same way a rigid exoskeleton would. Through the course of this project, we aim to understand the magnitude of the forces such a system can generate, the appropriateness of these forces for modifying gait trajectory and the ability of the operator to adjust these forces to align with a desired gait performance.