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Medical Engineering Seminar Series, Dr. Patrick Slade

Friday, April 21, 2023
2:00pm to 3:00pm
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Moore B270
Personalizing Assistive Devices in the Real-world
Patrick Slade, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, SEAS, Harvard University,

Billions of people face mobility challenges like obesity, age-related diseases, and physical limitations. Wearable robotic devices offer the potential of helping people overcome these challenges, but it is often difficult to design controllers that improve human mobility. We will discuss a paradigm for designing effective assistive devices using human-in-the-loop optimization, illustrated through several case studies: a wearable system for tracking calories burned during exercise, a portable exoskeleton that personalizes assistance during real-world walking, and a robotic cane for people with impaired vision that improves navigation and increases walking. These projects focus on developing technology that is low-cost and easily reproducible to work towards tools for underserved populations.

Bio: Patrick Slade is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard University. He received his bachelors at UIUC and completed MSc, PhD, and postdoctoral studies in Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering at Stanford University. He directs the Harvard Ability Lab that combines robotics, biomechanics, and human-centered AI to build intelligent health models and assistive devices. He explores how we can safely and effectively integrate human-robot systems so people can live healthier and more independent lives. His work focuses on solutions that are open-source and low-cost to make care accessible for underserved populations.

Hosted by Professor Wei Gao

For more information, please contact Christine Garske by email at [email protected] or visit