Footsteps Fund support for stroke rehabilitation robotics
September 3, 2019 | Simon Jenkins
In 2018 a Direct Mail appeal asked our Footsteps Fund donors to support the work of Professor Martin Levesley and his team.
Supported by alumni and friends of the University, the Footsteps Fund supports initiatives which enhance the student experience and provides scholarships to hundreds of students annually to enable them to take up their hard earned place at Leeds. The fund also helps our world-class researchers take the next vital steps towards extraordinary discoveries.
Donors responded generously to the appeal, contributing almost £72,000 to the work.
“Thanks to this support our talented research team has been able to make great progress,” says Martin. “Our MyPAM robot, which recreates traditional physiotherapy for stroke survivors, is being prepared for clinical trials and the team hope to build a fleet of refined MyPAM robots.
“The support has already allowed us to give a number of undergraduate students the chance to work on this research project over the summer months at a critical early point in their career. Three fantastic students have been gaining valuable work and research experience by developing and refining the computer games used by MyPAM, to ensure patients interact with it in the most effective and therapeutic way.
“A fourth student, who was part of the research team last year, is continuing his work to test and evaluate more cost-effective ways to power MyPAM.”
Mechatronics and Robotics student William Atkins was one of the summer interns: “Our goal is to provide a motivational tool for patients to keep working on their exercises so that they can get function of their body, and their life, back quickly. While studying, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Working on this project lets me apply the skills and knowledge I have (and those I will develop throughout the research) to a practical issue that will help real people.”