The human body is the ultimate machine.

The complexity of the musculoskeletal and neuromsucular systems enable us to perform the many activities of daily life. However, this same complexity also makes the human body incredibly difficult to treat when things go wrong. The aim of the Ability & Innovation Lab is to empower human mobility through engineering and design. We take a human-centered design approach and work closely with patients, clinicians, and families. Whether on the athletic field, in the clinic, or at home we seek to understand how humans move and how we can improve performance and quality of life. Let’s get moving!

Recent News & Publications

Quantifying Control

In collaboration with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and NINDS we are quantifying patient-specific changes in neuromuscular control by intergrating clinical gait analysis and utilizing both synergy analysis and dynamic musculoskeletal simulation computations. The goals of this project are to evaluate if muscle synergies

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3D-printed ankle foot orthoses

Optimizing Orthoses

Orthoses are commonly prescribed for individuals with cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal cord injury, and many other disorders to help improve movement and quality of life. However, fabricating and fitting the optimal orthoses for each individual remains challenging. Due to limitations

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The flexible electrode on the forearm of one of our co-designers.

Ubiquitous Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation research has demonstrated that repetitive practice can improve function after neurologic injury; however, the methods to support this practice are time and resource intensive. Face it – we would rather be playing outside, watching TV, or doing anything else

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The treadmill, command station, and force plates that are used in the center of the AMP Lab for evaluating human and robotic performance.


Please see the AMP Lab Website for updates news & information! The AMP Lab is a collaboration at the University of Washington between the College of Engineering and Rehabilitation Medicine that seeks to amplify human and robotic movement and performance.  The AMP Lab seeks to advance our understanding

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An AccessEngineering participant and Dr. Steele check out a 3D-printer in the Ability & Innovation Lab.


Launched in September 2014, AccessEngineering works to increase the participation of persons with disabilities in engineering education and workforce in order to both increase and diversify the engineering workforce. This is achieved through engaging faculty and students nationwide in efforts to

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We love to share our work with students, teachers, and other community members who are interested in the ultimate machine and engineering. The human body is incredibly complex and we need more creative minds from diverse backgrounds who are passionate about addressing

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