The development of robotic systems for transferring, repositioning, and personal care, with a focus on accessible user interfaces for control that are feasible for persons with severe disabilities.

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Prototype Designs

Phoenix Lift System


Effective for independent transfers of users with severe physical disabilities. The Phoenix Lift System comprises of an inflatable pillow and supports for the head, lateral trunk, and thighs that scoops and cradles the body point of contact.


Wearable Sling


To hold the sling, there will be two hooks for the head and trunk slings and a single hook for each forearm, upper arm, upper leg, and lower leg on both the right to left sides to total 12 hooks on the equipment.


Piano Mattress


An inflatable contoured mattress with a number of segment chambers that are filled with air pockets that can be pressurized to be raised or lowered to the height that best suits the positioning needs of the user.


Piano Lifter


For limb repositioning, one or more tines can move and curl around the body part and execute the required movement and even perform scooping up with two or more tines interleaved on the limbs, trunk, and head. Each of the two grippers has three fingers and will be used to support the head and fine movement of the limbs.




Each gripper will gently hug and wrap around the limb or body to perform movement.


Motorized Commode Chair


Motorized commode chair with the capacity to adjust the seat's elevation and tilt, backrest recline, lock the brakes on the wheels, and position of head support, armrests, and footrests with a remote control or mounted joystick.


Toilet Tongs


A device that resembles motorized tongs with a small faucet in the center that functions as a bidet.




Universal Gripper (UniGripper) is for feeding, wiping the mouth with a napkin, combing hair, and fine motor activities.


Robotic Toothbrush


Robotic Toothbrush system with a small-headed toothbrush, a pulsating water jet, and a container for spitting out secretions.


Interface Designs

BCI for Assisting Arm Movement


We designed a interface for moving the simulated arm of an avatar to show the feasibility of using BCI for self-directed arm repositioning tasks using an accessible GUI with the Emotiv Epoc BCI Headset.


IKeyboard: C++ Prediction Interface


We designed and developed a web-based accessible word prediction interface with a virtual keyboard to facilitate C++ programming code for users with physical disabilities and visual disabilities. All components of the interface also have the ability to be recognized and have been extensively tested to be read aloud by the JAWS screen reading software to support users with visual disabilities. The prototype is online at