"Neural injury, as from a stroke, can cause loss of motor control. To recover, neural pathways must be retrained. Physical therapy is often prescribed. Not fun. But what if the retraining were a user-friendly, fun video game on a HDTV screen? What if the computer gave you a score so you could try to beat it next time? Or if your movements are difficult or awkward, what if a robotic device helped you move and instructed you how to make adjustments? What if you could learn to hear and ‘play’ a simulated musical instrument to help you regain digital control via a musical glove? What if exercise on an exercise machine were combined with a game so that the exercise was fun to do? Would you exercise more?”Philip Friedel, UCI Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Annually, about 100 people with a neural injury volunteer to test technology developed by UCI students in the iMove collaboratory, receiving free, cutting-edge rehabilitation therapy from skilled physical and occupational therapists.
Hundreds of elementary and high school students have experienced the iMove collaboratory through hands-on tours, summer science programs, and internships, inspiring their imagination as to how they can use science, technology, and medicine to make a difference for people in their careers.
Robotics technology developed by iMove researchers appeared in a popular music video seen over 120 million times on YouTube. The video imagines the future that iMove is working toward: a world in which a person paralyzed in a car accident can fully recover movement through hard work, regenerative medicine, and cutting-edge robotics.