The aim of the Ability Lab is to empower human mobility through engineering and design. Our focus is understanding how the complexities of the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems enable movement and using this knowledge to inspire new pathways that can enhance performance. Using engineering as a foundation enables us to explore the complex systems of the human body and create innovative designs. We take a human-centered design approach and work closely with patients, clinicians, and families to receive feedback and refine our designs. Whether on the athletic field, in the clinic, or at home we seek to understand how humans move, what happens when things go wrong, and how we can improve treatment and enhance quality of life.  Let’s get moving!

Recent Highlights

Hwan Choi and Ben Shuman shared their research at the Northwest Biomechanics Symposium.

Dr. Steele presents at Microsoft Research’s symposium on Gait and Balance. View video HERE.

The senior design teams meet with Ivan Owen and Ann Yamane to discuss their latest design for open-source orthoses.

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Recent publications accepted:

Upcoming Events

Journal Club

The Ability Lab hosts an interdisciplinary journal club each quarter focused on different themes relating to evaluating and improving movement for individuals with neurological disorders. The journal club meets Thursdays at 4pm in the Mechanical Engineering Building. E-mail Dr. Steele if you are interested in participating. Past themes include:

  • Fall 2013: Gait pathologies in cerebral palsy
  • Winter 2014: Musculoskeletal impairments after brain injury
  • Spring 2014: Technologies for evaluating movement outside the lab

Lab Meeting Schedule

Spring 2014

  • 5/12: Practice for NWB Symposium
  • 5/19: NWB Debrief
  • 5/26: Memorial Day (no meeting)
  • 6/2: Plan for summer
  • 6/9: No meeting
  • 6/16: Summer goals