Kessler Foundation Showcases Robotic Exoskeleton During 2018 Gallery Walk

Gallery Walk

Gallery Walk highlights new generation of changemakers using data and technology to empower the developing world

October 8, 2018 – Kessler Foundation participated in the 2018 Gallery Walk, an interactive event designed to educate and provide actionable insights to help achieve the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The event took place during the 73rd United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly and welcomed senior officials from the U.N. and national governments, NGOs, the private sector, and civil society organizations.

Attendees explored how different uses of data and technology are revolutionizing and empowering developing countries. The global challenges addressed at the event included hunger, children's advocacy, women's rights, poverty, and disabilities. Each of the 16 presenting organizations use data and/or technology to impact the global community. Presenters were selected on the strength of their innovation and ingenuity, and were representative of the size, scope, and leadership required to address critical global challenges. Kessler Foundation was among those presenters, live demonstrating the application of exoskeleton robotics for rehabilitation after stroke and spinal cord injury/disease (SCI/D).

“Technology and data are drivers of change, but human collaboration, the ability to form and leverage insights that lead to strategic solutions, is at the core of those driving forces,” said Rodger DeRose, President and CEO of Kessler Foundation. “The U.N. Gallery Walk is not only an opportunity to showcase the disruptive technologies that are changing our world today, but an opportunity to build new partnerships that spark dialog on the sustainable tools that will lead change tomorrow. We are honored to be alongside other visionaries aiming to help the U.N. achieve its sustainable development goals by 2030.”

Karen Nolan, PhD, senior research scientist in Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, led the interactive demonstration. Erica Garbarini, research physical therapist, assisted Dr. Nolan, alongside research assistants, Jonathan Augustine and Jonathan Becerril. Natalie Barrett, a participant in one of Kessler Foundation’s SCI research studies, graciously volunteered her time.

Advances in technology have revolutionized the field of rehabilitation in recent years. Robotic exoskeletons are now being used as therapeutic interventions for stroke survivors and people with SCI/D. In 2014, Kessler Foundation researchers began studying the physiological and functional effects of roboticexoskeletons, specifically the effects of early intervention gait therapy during inpatient stroke rehabilitation. Roboticexoskeletons enhance gait training by aiding weight shifts and improving step patterns and cadence. The technology applications typically include a wearable device such as a robotic exoskeleton, dermoskeleton, or soft suit exoskeleton, with anatomically aligned motors to maximize function and mobility.

“Robotic exoskeletons are changing how we approach rehabilitation,” remarked Dr. Nolan. “Today, research scientists are optimizing ways to use these devices so that people with diverse mobility deficits can benefit,” she noted. “As an outcomes-driven organization, we know that the value of our research lies in the quality and accessibility of our data. Our data is addressing unforeseen needs and leading to improved conditions for people with disabilities globally.”

Other presenters included the UNDP, UNICEF, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Food Programme, MasterCard, Rights Lab, Virtue Foundation, Equal Measures 2030, and WEConnect International. The event was hosted by Dun & Bradstreet and Tableau Foundation.  Additional support was provided by ANDE, Mr. Habib Paracha, and User1st.

For more information on the event, please visit:  https://www.gallerywalksdg.org/.