INTERACT: Modelling the neuromusculoskeletal system across spatiotemporal scales for a new paradigm of human-machine motor interaction
Neurological injuries such as stroke or spinal cord injury leave millions of people disabled worldwide every year. However, for these individuals recovery is often suboptimal. The impact of current neuro-rehabilitation machines is hampered by limited knowledge of their physical interaction with the human body. Motor recovery requires positive neuro-muscular adaptation to be steered over time. If we could predict such adaptation and control it, to induce a positive change in the future, then a new era in rehabilitation robotics would begin.
INTERACT will address this challenge by combining spinal cord electrical-stimulation and robotic exoskeletons with a new class of predictive multi-scale models of the neuromuscular system. This will enable robots to autonomously discover the electro-mechanical stimuli needed for repairing motor function over time. INTERACT will answer fundamental questions in movement neuromechanics via novel principles of human-machine interaction, with broad impact on bioengineering and robotics.