Stroke is one of the leading causes of adult disability, with more than half of survivors left dependent on others for everyday activities. Motor recovery after stroke requires task-specific, repetitive exercises, and current techniques do not seem to motivate stroke survivors to continue with their rehabilitation. An area where adherence to exercise may be higher is in high performance sport where success also often requires individual, repetitive training over a long period of time, without the supervision of a coach.
My PhD project will focus on how, and to what extent, an adaptive robotic coach has the potential to fill this coaching gap and provide extra motivation for long-term rehabilitation after stroke and adherence to repetitive solo practice in squash. It will investigate the similarities and differences in coaching techniques for both groups, and whether using reinforcement learning to adapt a robotic coach’s behavior to individuals has an effect on adherence to exercise in stroke rehabilitation and high-performance sport.
Some interesting facts:
- I hold an MEng with Distinction in Software Engineering from Heriot-Watt University.
- I am a 2nd year Computer Science PhD student researching if/how an adaptive robotic coach could increase adherence to exercise over the long term.
- My research areas of interest include HRI, reinforcement learning and robotic assisted living.
- I am an avid squash player and currently coordinator of Heriot-Watt squash club.
- I once drew a kangaroo in front of 3,000 people on stage at a Derren Brown show.