Ava Chen is a graduate student at Columbia University in the Robotic Manipulation and Mobility Lab, and is working towards a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, where she developed an interest in rehabilitative and assistive robotics. Her previous work includes building instrumentation for measuring limb tissue biomechanics and studying mid-air reorientation dynamics in jumping spiders.
Ava's research interests are in wearable robotic hands. Her current focus is the electromechanical development of a powered hand orthosis that augments functional dexterity for individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis. Pivotal to this work is the integration of hardware and software engineer, physical therapist, physician, and stroke community involvement throughout the design process.
Ava has additional interests in adaptive technology — leveraging the potential of robotics and AI to create mutable interfaces between people and the built environment — in accessible hardware design for wearable devices, and in using robotic principles to emulate and test hypothesized biological locomotion/manipulation mechanisms and strategies.