We obvi­ously love our gad­gets around here. But, as worked up as we get for things with octa-​​core proces­sors and 4K dis­plays, what really excites us about tech­nology is its ability to improve people’s lives. And while having an end­less repos­i­tory of infor­ma­tion at your fin­ger­tips 24/​7 cer­tainly qual­i­fies, we’re more inter­ested in the people working to solve real prob­lems. In the base­ment of the Egan Research Center at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, a group of stu­dents are toiling away under the watchful eye and guid­ance of pro­fessor Con­stan­tinos Mavroidis to build a rather unique device called the Virtually-​​Interfaced Robotic Ankle and Bal­ance Trainer — or vi-​​RABT. For the better part of a year the team has been working on what started life as a Cap­stone project. The con­cept began when Dr. Mau­reen Holden, from the school’s phys­ical therapy depart­ment, came to the lab­o­ra­tory with a problem: how can we improve the speed and quality of recovery for stroke patients who have lost strength in their ankles and struggle to stay balanced?


Read the article at Engadget →