Everyday activities, such as walking or driving a car, are not without risk: 80 per cent of all Canadian hospital admissions are due to falls or car accidents. Fortunately, the convergence of biomechanics, mechatronics and artificial intelligence has created a “perfect storm” of opportunity to create biomechatronic devices that can help or protect human users. Examples include driver-specific power steering, rehabilitation robots and exoskeletons for walking or lifting.
As Canada Research Chair in Biomechatronic System Dynamics, Dr. John McPhee is supporting the creation of devices like these by developing new model-based controllers and computer simulations that have the potential to replace expensive testing of physical prototypes. Ultimately, McPhee and his research team hope to accelerate the creation of human-machine systems that will enhance Canadians’ quality of life.