Affordable Robots for Global Health

As proof of concept becomes evident and prototyping moves from  R&D to clinical application, our lab seeks to apply our expertise in building extremely affordable robotics for countries where the shortage of rehabilitation professionals and access to them, prevents a full recovery post-injury for a large majority of the population.  In the past, our lab has worked with ITESM in Mexico and is currently in the process of forging a partnership with Botswana as they seek to build out their rehabilitation infrastructure.

One project that we are currently working on is in our lab is the creation of a Robotic Gym.  We aim do reduce the cost of our Haptic Theradrive system, while maintaining its most salient qualities:  operation without physician oversight, strong clinical outcomes, and fun, interactive therapy – video games.


  • Grant: El Comite’ Technico y de Administracion del Fondo Mixto CONACYT-Goberno del Estado de Chihuahua CHIH 2009-CO2-127781
  • American Heart Association Grant #0635450Z
  • Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Grant #5520015
  • MCW Research Affairs Committee Grant #3303017


Preterm birth is the largest risk factor of motor delays such as cerebral palsy, with around 41.5% of CP diagnoses coming from preterm infants. Current CP screeners are all qualitative and expert-based, which does not relay information about the progression of disorder. By using sensorized wireless toys, the SmarToyGym aims to capture quantitative data from infants, such as kicking and grasping force. The project is currently in the development stage with the toy electronics.