Flagship 5: Assistive and Rehabilitation Technologies


This translational flagship brings together patients, healthcare professionals, researchers, engineers and product designers to optimise outcomes for people who experience disability. The flagship uses iterative, co-design approaches to develop and validate assistive and rehabilitation technologies that are person-centred and focused on improving the lives of people living with the disabling consequences of injury or illness.

Many assistive and rehabilitation devices are developed in isolation of the people who will use them. This flagship challenges this practice and actively supports people experiencing disability and clinicians to be involved in the development and validation of assistive and rehabilitation technologies. This holistic framework acknowledges the users’ experiences and works from their perspective with the aim of improving design and adoption of assistive technology. Our projects aim to optimise translation by drawing on three different approaches, including:

  1. Translation of technology from the research space to clinical use
  2. Experience-based co-design
  3. Transdisciplinary knowledge exchange for implementation

In each case, we aim to determine two outcomes: a) a better understanding of what methodological approaches work, for whom and in what circumstances to aid the development of a translational framework to support our ongoing work; and b) tangible outcomes specific to the exemplar project. The central idea of this is that what we learn across the flagship transcends the knowledge gained from the individual projects to develop a theoretically-informed, evidence-based approach to the development of translational technologies.

These projects will integrate learnings from our existing work regarding what helps or hinders uptake of technology into rehabilitation practice. Our overarching goal is to ensure our approach tackles implementation from the outset and aims to mitigate barriers to future implementation and uptake.


Principal Investigators

Auckland University of Technology

University of Auckland

Callaghan Innovation

Victoria University Wellington

  • Associate Professor Edgar Rodriguez

Associate Investigators

Victoria University Wellington

  • Professor Simon Fraser

University of Auckland

  • Dr Bryan Ruddy
  • Associate Professor Andrew Taberner

University of Auckland & Starship Children's Hospital

  • Professor Susan Stott

Auckland University of Technology & New Zealand College of Chiropractic

  • Dr Imran Khan Niazi

PhD Students

University of Auckand

  • Thorben Pauli
  • Pablo Ortega-Auriol
  • Soroosh Haji Hosseinnejad

Auckland University of Technology

  • Usman Rashid
  • Soheila Mohammad Yari

Victoria University of Wellington

  • Mailin Lemke
  • Samantha Ogilvie

Masters Student

Victoria University of Wellington

  • Lin Chen

Our Work


Current collaborators

  • University of Auckland (New Zealand)
  • Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand)
  • Callaghan Innovation (New Zealand)
  • Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
  • Exsurgo Rehabilitation (New Zealand)
  • IMeasureU Ltd (New Zealand)
  • Thought-Wired (New Zealand)
  • Cerebral Palsy Association of New Zealand

Future collaborators

We are looking to collaborate with:

  • Rehabilitation providers from a diversity of settings and contexts
  • People currently engaged in rehabilitation services or living with the disabling consequences of injury or illness
  • Non-government organisations (e.g. Stroke Foundation)
  • Ministry of Health
  • Accident Compensation Corporation
  • Brain Research New Zealand



  1. The Influence of Muscle Fatigue on Muscle Synergies during an Isometric Contraction of the Upper Limb (Paper accepted at the International Society of Biomechanics, Brisbane, Australia 23-27 July 2017)
  2. Long-term Monitoring of Lower Limb Joint Loads Using Wearable Sensors: Application in Sport and Orthopaedics (Paper accepted at the International Society of Biomechanics, Brisbane, Australia 23-27 July 2017)
  3. Paired Associative Stimulation Delivered by Pairing Movement-Related Cortical Potentials with Peripheral Electrical Stimulation: An Investigation of the Duration of Neuromodulatory Effects
  4. Brain Computer Interface-based Paired Associative Stimulation: An Investigation of the Duration of Neuromodulatory Effects (In Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference Abstracts - pp. 92).
  5. Workshops of the Sixth International Brain–Computer Interface Meeting: Brain–computer Interfaces Past, Present, and Future
  6. A Framework for Considering the Voice of the Users of BCI Rehabilitation Devices. (Paper presented at the International Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Meeting 2016, California, USA - pp.21)


  1. A Design System for Facilitating Strength for Task Training for Lower Limb Stroke Rehabilitation. (Paper presented at Open Design for E-very-thing International Cumulus Conference Hong Kong, 21-25 November 2016).
  2. What Influences Acceptability and Engagement with a High Intensity Exercise Programme for People with Stroke? A Qualitative Descriptive Study
  3. Pairing Voluntary Movement and Muscle-located Electrical Stimulation Increases Cortical Excitability
  4. A Review of E-textiles in Neurological Rehabilitation: How Close are We?
  5. Smart Interactions for Home Healthcare: A Semantic Shift
  6. What is the Opportunity for Virtual Reality Training? (Paper presented at the 2nd New Zealand Society for Balance, Dizziness and Vertigo, 2nd Scientific Meeting, Christchurch)
  7. Brain Computer Interface-based Paired Associative Stimulation: An Investigation of the Duration of Neuromodulatory Effects. (Paper presented at the MedTech CoRE Conference 2016, Auckland)
  8. An Exergaming System for Home-based Stroke Rehabilitation (Oral presentation at the Looking In Looking Out: Home and Community Health Association of New Zealand Annual Conference 2016, Te Papa, Wellington)


  1. Inertial Tracking of Arm Kinematics for Quantification of Deficit after Stroke (Paper presented at the NeuroEng2015: 8th Australasian Workshop on Computational Neuroscience, Queenstown, New Zealand)