Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, with Prof. Heike Vallery
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Rehabilitation Engineering Lab (RELab), with Prof. Roger Gassert
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Year of visit:
4 months in 2016
Investigating the intrinsic and reflexive components of knee impedance in response to external perturbations during walking
1. Were you able to fulfill all your planned objectives?
The whole experience was above and beyond my expectations. I immediately fell in love with Switzerland, the breathtaking landscapes, the culture and the people. Conducting research and learning from leading researchers in the field of rehabilitation robotics at ETH lab Zurich has been an amazing experience. The lab works closely with developers and industry to advance musculoskeletal system research and to find practical applications that benefit the patients. Working in this type of environment allowed me to gain practical hands on experience, and to witness our work actually helping patients. All this definitely has inspired me to further my career in the field of rehabilitation robotics. Additionally this experience has granted me with an extensive network, both students and academics, within the field and is a valuable addition to my CV.
2. Did your host lab contribute to the quality of your research?
Yes, it certainly did! The whole RELab team was amazing, and I was fortunate to have excellent supervisors guiding me through my project. There was a great teamwork within the lab, and everyone was eager to assist and support me if needed. With their help, I was able to develop and improve skills that for example helped me to better manage my time, to enhance my reasoning and problem solving abilities, and to more effectively relate to my colleagues. Considering it all, I can positively say that quality of my research was significantly aided by my host lab.
3. Do you feel your association with NCCR Robotics has had an overall impact on your studies and future career?
An internship program with NCCR robotics gave me the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the workings of an academic career in the field of rehabilitation robotics. It made me realize that although the academic path might not be for me, it reassured me that I want to pursue my future career in a field where I can combine my interests in robotics and medical sciences to improve people’s life.
4. What are you currently working on and what are your plans for the future?
Currently I am working on my graduation project for my MSc degree in Robotics, Mechanical Engineering at TUDelft. The project is about variable impedance actuation for robotic gait assistive devices. As this topic is closely related to my internship, the knowledge I gained during my internship has reinforced my research significantly. My plan is to finish my studies and let the future surprise me.