“It’s such an honor to work with visionary people like Dr. Jeffrey Rosenbluth. Through his forward thinking, nothing is impossible attitude and the hard work and creativity of many student engineers, we can realize the impossible. Thanks to all those who dedicate countless hours and efforts to developing technologies unmatched anywhere in the world.” – Dr. Andrew Merryweather
The University of Utah Rehabilitation Center – in partnership with the Colleges of Health, Mechanical Engineering Ergonomics & Safety Program, Computer Science, Businesses, and Architecture and Planning – conducts research and development in the field of assistive technology and adaptive recreation.
The Rehabilitation Center and Tetradapt (https://www.tetradapt.us/) currently has as their core project the TetraSki, the world’s first independent alpine sit-ski for any physical disability (shown above). The Tetradapt Community is a nonprofit organization working closely with the University of Utah to build, distribute and support assistive technology products and is the vision of adaptive sports leader and founder, Jeffrey Rosenbluth, spinal cord injury medical director at the University of Utah Rehabilitation Center.
Advancing Human Safety and Ergonomics through Sensing and Simulation (October 8, 2018)
In the current era when the way we work and interact with our world is evolving with rapidly expanding technologies, ergonomics and human factors must be creative in order to meet these new challenges. Ergonomics and Safety are scientific disciplines used to engineer better solutions to complex relationship between people and their environments. Goals include the reduction of musculoskeletal disorders, worker errors, and physical strain and exhaustion through the study of engineering, biomechanics, human factors, anthropometry, industrial design, and user-interface design. We can use wearable sensors, robotics and computational models to enable greater knowledge of exposure, injury and prevention. This presentation will highlight examples of how research from the Ergonomics and Safety Lab at the University of Utah is using a variety of techniques and methods to expand our understanding of how to safely and efficiently interact with our ever changing world.
On September 14th and 20th, Dr. Mitja Trkov attended the Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services Fall-Prevention Awareness events which were open to the general public. Dr. Trkov shared fall-prevention tips and discussed Ergonomics & Safety Program research. He was accompanied by Prof. Andrew Merryweather on the 14th and by Prof. Ken d’Entremont on the 20th.
Attendees were able to learn of simple ergonomic principles to help prevent the slip, trip, and fall of the aging population. In addition, many of those attending were able to see dynamic pressure maps of their own feet in real-time using the E&S Program’s instrumented insoles as shown in the photograph below (September 20, 2018).
Parkinsons disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with a deficiency in healthy dopaminergic neurons that can result in a slew of motor disabilities. Due to the effects of the disease, patients with PD have a very high risk of falling. Under the direction of Dr. Mark Minor (PI), a team of researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Physical Therapy have joined together to develop technology and methods to understand PD gait and revolutionize training therapy to reduce falls. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation (#1162131).