The ability to move independently permits us to examine the world around us. Children born with motor impairments face unique challenges to learn about their environment and develop cognitively and socially through locomotion. Innovative research in pediatric rehabilitative technologies allow children with these disabilities to interact with and explore their world in a way previously thought to be impossible.
On Friday, December 7th, UCR’s Department of Bioengineering will host the first open house of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Technology (PRT) Lab. Faculty, community members, and local high schools are among the guests expected to attend the event.
“I am passionate about creating rehabilitation programs that involve high dosage motor training through the use of innovative and accessible technology to advance the motor ability of children with motor impairments,” said Elena Kokkoni, bioengineering research faculty and PRT lab’s principal investigator (PI).
The open house will showcase groundbreaking research taking place in the PRT lab, which examines novel neurorehabilitation environments that aim to improve physical function and promote the development of children with motor disorders. These environments involve the use of assistive devices such as body weight support systems, socially assistive robots, and exoskeletons/wearables to provide motor training designed upon principles from the field of neuroscience. Improving motor function early may greatly influence other aspects of a child’s development such as cognitive and socialization. During the event, devices the lab currently uses in pediatric rehabilitation research will be on display and poster presentations will showcase projects by the lab’s undergraduate researchers.
The PRT lab hopes to engage the community in this important work and foster future collaborations with researchers and clinicians in the Riverside area. The open house will take place in Bourns Hall A165 between 12-4 p.m. To learn about research conducted in the PRT lab visit: https://www.elenakokkoni.com/research