Rory A. Cooper
Designing assistive technology since a spinal cord injury left him partially paralyzed, Rory A. Cooper has used his experience and expertise to improve the lives of people with disabilities. His life-changing technologies include the SMARTWheel (SW), Variable Compliance Joystick with Compensation Algorithms (VCJ-CA), and Virtual Seating Coach (VSC). The SW mounts to a manual wheelchair to measure biomechanics and ergonomics. The VCJ-CA uses a combination of compensation and tuning techniques made possible by modern digital control and signal processing to allow users to operate electric-powered wheelchairs consistently. The VSC uses multisensor fusion, contextual awareness, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing to provide individually tailored coaching and data sharing with the clinical team to help mitigate risk for pressure injuries. An IEEE Fellow, Cooper is the FISA-Foundation and Paralyzed Veterans of America Distinguished Professor and director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh and a senior career scientist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.