Mr Stephen Lin said: “We use machine learning to interpret an individual’s movements, which vary from user to user. Currently, these signals are transmitted to a computer-based program, but we hope to progress this to a free phone app so it can be easily downloadable.”
In 2020, Dr Withana received an ARC DECRA fellowship to investigate novel sensor fabrication techniques for wearable applications. Currently, the research team is funded by Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Neurodisability Assist Trust to further investigate how this technology can be used to help people living with cerebral palsy.
“We know that assistive technology holds the key to a brighter future for many children with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities, with the potential to transform communication, mobility and participation in society. Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood globally, meaning it is vital that these tech advancements are accessible, customisable and as widely available as possible,” said Professor Nadia Badawi, CP Alliance Chair of Cerebral Palsy Research at The University of Sydney and Medical Director and Co-Head at Westmead Hospital’s Grace Center for Newborn Intensive Care.
Cerebral palsy can cause spasticity in muscles and affect a person’s ability to move. It can have profound impacts on the ability of people to communicate with 50 percent of people living with the condition finding speech difficult or impossible, while two-thirds have difficulty with movement in one or both arms.
“This invaluable project can have a real impact in assisting children with cerebral palsy to play, learn and express themselves. At Cerebral Palsy Alliance, we’re proud to support innovative projects such as this through our grants program, which has committed more than $59 million in funding to leading researchers in 38 countries around the world,” said Professor Badawi.