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Michael is the lead on the Lil'Flo project.
Michael is a doctoral student in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on building affordable socially assistive robots for upper extremity rehabilitation. He is interested in ways in which these systems can be made translatable, how design decisions in the systems affect interactions, and how the systems can gather data to objectively measure patient performance. Prior to joining the Rehab Robotics lab, Michael worked as a research technician at Georgia Tech where he focused on translating technologies for object tracking and visual serving from academic research to an industrially relevant level of development. Michael has also previously worked for a medical device company and a pharmaceutical company. Michael received his bachelors of science in biomedical engineering with a minor in computer science from Georgia Tech. He is excited to meld his passions for robotics and healthcare technology in the Rehab Robotics Lab. You can learn more about him at his website: michaelsobrepera.com.
Erica Waters is a PhD student in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania. In December 2020, she completed her Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her undergraduate research focused on relating kinematic data of upper-extremity reaching to task-specific confidence with implications on post-stroke patient monitoring through wearable sensors. She is interested in developing affordable rehabilitation robotic systems that improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities.
Olaoluwaotan ‘Francis’ Sowande
Francis is a mechanical engineering doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab, he has worked in labs at the University of Maryland on topics concerning optimized robotic design, and task planning.
Francis’s research interests lie in robotic design especially in the context of assisting underserved groups. He is excited to use his passion for accessible robotics platforms at the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab.
Patience Yaa Yeboah
Patience Yaa Yeboah is currently a PhD student in the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab at the University of Pennsylvania with significant interests in rehabilitation robotics for stroke and spinal cord injury patients. She hopes to develop better rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities in Ghana in some years to come. She received her master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Arizona State University and undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2020 from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Following her research interests and the quest to understand how the muscles can compensate
for the lost functions during injuries, Patience worked in the Neural Control of Movement Lab under the supervision of Professor Marco Santello. Some projects Patience has worked on are measuring the muscle strength of stroke patients, mapping muscles activation to force perception during unloading, dexterous finger force control training and developing user centered devices for a cerebral palsy patient.
She is a member of the Model United Nations with keen interests in Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 10. Her active groups during her Masters and Undergraduate degrees were National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and the Biomedical Engineering Society.
Tuan-Anh is a PhD student in BioEngineering department at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi, Vietnam. He conducted a research internship at LISSI lab at the University of Paris-Est Creteil, France, focusing on modeling and optimal control of a hybrid lower-limb assistive system composed of exoskeleton and functional electric stimulation. In 2020, he became a Vingroup Ph.D Scholar, and he hopes to improve rehabilitation facilities for Vietnamese people in the future. He joins the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab with interests in developing robotic approaches to assist recovery process in individuals with disabilities.
Reem is a Bioengineering PhD Student at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience from Lehigh University and her Master’s Degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Reem comes from a diverse background in research and has worked on an array of projects, but her research interests always centered on interfacing neuroscience and engineering. She has 2 publications on the use of Biomaterials to restore brain tissue post volumetric loss. She is interested in exploiting neuroscience to improve rehabilitation robotics.
As an individual from diverse backgrounds and member of the Fontaine Society, she supports the lab’s mission to make robotics more affordable and accessible.
Shafagh Keyvanian is a Ph.D. Student at University of Pennsylvania, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) department. Her research interests include Rehabilitation robotics, Control theory, and Machine Learning. Her current research is on Autonomous Task-oriented Therapy for individuals with upper-extremities impairments. Her focus is on robot control policies based on Therapist-Patient-Interaction using machine learning techniques.
She received her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from K. N. Toosi University, Tehran, Iran, and M.Sc. Degree in Automotive Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.
Sam is currently a Masters student studying Robotics at the University of Pennsylvania. Sam’s focus is on commercial development of the PANDA Gym and Rehab CARES systems in the lab. He aims to make both systems more robust, affordable, and deployable for continued research efforts and future directions.
Jeong Inn Park
Raima is currently a Masters student studying Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics with a focus on Robotics at the University of Pennsylvania. Raima mainly contributes to the RESTORE project where patient therapist interaction videos are classified based on interaction paradigms. Her primary focus is on using Computer Vision for 2D pose estimation and subsequent classification. She also works on retraining OpenPose to make it robust to occlusions. Her main interests lie in the intersection of machine vision and learning.
(718) 790 - 0016
Gary is a master’s student in the School of Engineering studying Robotics with a background in Bioengineering. His research primarily focuses on developing affordable rehabilitation robotics for use in assessment and game-based therapies post neural injury specially for the RehabCARES platform. Many of his interests revolve around the design of mechatronic systems and the algorithms used to control them for use in healthcare spaces.
Julie is a rising sophomore studying Cognitive Science and Healthcare Management at the University of Pennsylvania. Julie is studying the use of the humanoid social robot Lil’Flo for treatment of dementia patients, specifically focusing on engagement and cognitive stimulation. Her project also investigates metrics to evaluate engagement and cognition of the patient during human-robot interaction through strategies including video coding schemes and scored assessment taks. Julie is interested in all facets of healthcare practice and medical device systems and looks forward to expanding her research interests through her time in the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab.
Romi is currently a Post-Bacc Pre-Health student at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree in architecture at Carnegie Mellon University but decided on a career change into medicine. She is fascinated by surgery (particularly neurosurgery), perhaps stemming from her previous experience and admiration for architecture. She joined this lab because of its mission (affordability) and its research area (neuroscience). She hopes to reduce health disparities and promote health equity, and the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab aligns with this intent.
Raghunandan is a sophomore at Penn studying mathematics and CIS intending to concentrating in machine learning and data science. In his free time, Raghunandan likes to garden and as well as sing and create South Asian fusion a cappella music with Penn Masala.