Kathleen O'Donnell

In A Nutshell

 Kathleen O'Donnell is designing new technology that goes beyond rigid, external exoskeletons to deliver innovative "exosuits" -- flexible, invisible robotics hidden inside ordinary-looking fabric to address mobility issues stemming from neurological disease.

About Kathleen

Kathleen O’Donnell combines backgrounds in biomedical engineering and industrial design to drive development of engineering solutions for complex user scenarios. Her passion for infusing principles of human factors and user research into all stages of the development process for medical devices has driven her work as the program lead developing medical exosuits at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. One of The University Network’s “Women ‘Killin’ It’ In Robotics," Kathleen has been recognized for her team’s efforts to translate robotic exosuit technology to the clinic. The exosuit is designed to provide mechanical assistance embedded textile garments to improve walking function for patients recovering from stroke. In collaboration with ReWalk Robotics, Kathleen and her team worked to achieve FDA-clearance and mass-produce the exosuit design for use in physical therapy clinics.

Learn More

"FDA approves ReWalk's mobility device for stroke survivors."Yahoo Finance. 2019.

"A soft robotic exosuit assisting the paretic ankle in patients post-stroke: Effect on muscle activation during overground walking." Gait & Posture. 2018.

New exoskeleton designed to help stroke survivors walk. Fox Business. 2018.

A soft robotic exosuit improves walking in patients after stroke.” Science Translational Medicine. Volume 9. 2017.

Robotic suit promotes normal walking in stroke patients.” The Harvard Gazette. 2017.

"Reducing circumduction and hip hiking during hemiparetic walking through targeted assistance of the paretic limb using a soft robotic exosuit." American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2017.

Additional Resources/Inspirations

American Stroke Association

My Stroke of Insight Taylor, J. B. Penguin Books. 2009.

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Robotics Designer