When mechatronics helps people feed themselves: Alexandre Campeau-Lecours combines mechanics and electronics to improve the daily lives of people living with disabilities
With his Rehabilitation Engineering Group, Professor Alexandre Campeau-Lecours, a research associate at IID and professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Université Laval, combines mechanics and electronics to improve the daily lives of people living with disabilities. An overview of his work in ULaval Nouvelles.
Professor Campeau-Lecours’ research falls into three main areas. In adaptation, he and his team have designed assistive spoons for people with movement disorders, spasms or tremors when they eat. They are also working on arm supports that help with writing and a hand orthosis that allows people with spinal cord injuries to close their fingers on objects.
On the prevention side, the Groupe d’ingénierie de la réadaptation has been approached by the CHU de Québec – Université Laval to develop an arm support for biomedical technicians. These people do manipulations in biomedical hoods and have their arms raised all the time, which leads to muscle fatigue and long-term injuries,” explains the researcher.
For other manual workers, such as those in warehouses, the group created a wristband that can detect elevation movements, time spent in elevation and repetition. All of this is recorded and the bracelet sends an alert that it’s time to take a break to avoid overworking the muscles.
Alexandre Campeau-Lecours’ team also works in intervention, also called physical rehabilitation. Physiotherapists help people who need to relearn how to walk or move their arms after an accident. But because of the lack of clinical staff, the hours devoted to each patient are limited. The group’s exercise robots help.
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