Researchers at Alabama State University (ASU), Montgomery, have received a $480,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command to purchase a Gait Real-time Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL) from Motek Medical, Amsterdam, Netherlands. The GRAIL is an instrumented dual-belt treadmill with a motion-capture system and synchronized virtual reality environments with three video cameras and an EMG.
The grant was awarded to ASU’s Biomechanics and Motor Control Laboratory; Lee Childers, PhD, MSPO, CP, is the laboratory director. “A basic understanding on how we walk is important because this sets the criteria to design mechanical solutions that attempt to mimic and interface with a human being with such things as advanced prosthetic limbs or powered exoskeletons,” Childers told the Montgomery Advertiser. “And the other part of the research is to see why the person is walking a certain way to begin with. Is it something we can change with a new prosthetic design? Or new training?”
The GRAIL will be part of a larger effort within the university’s College of Health Sciences to develop the next generation of O&P devices to serve the U.S. military and its veterans. ASU expects to have the GRAIL installed and operational by November 2015.