The NextStep Robotics team has used their knowledge of robotics and engineering to pioneer a digital breakthrough in the treatment of foot drop and other causes of decreased mobility. Our experienced staff’s creative solution to the rehabilitation of foot drop has changed how orthopedic specialists will treat this condition. Most importantly, our team’s practical high-tech device will improve the quality of life for people who want to regain mobility.
Brad is a former Lead Clinical Research Specialist from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and is now leading the charge to commercialize this device and provide physical therapists a novel approach to effectively and durably reduce the adverse or potentially adverse effects of foot drop. He has been working with his co-founders for over a decade and has secured significant funding, including a cooperative agreement with NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Richard Macko, MD
Dr. Macko is a neurologist and professor of neurology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he is a leading expert in stroke recovery. Dr. Macko has published over one hundred fifty peer-reviewed research articles in the field of stroke neurorehabilitation. Dr. Macko has over 20 years of experience including as the Director of the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence in Exercise and Robotics in developing and testing disability and disease specific exercise training models that combine motor learning with exercise rehabilitation including lower-limb robotics to improve functional mobility for individuals with stroke and other chronic mobility disability conditions associated with advancing age. Dr. Macko has extensive experience in successfully obtaining state and federal grant funding.
Anindo Roy, PhD
Dr. Roy is the engineer behind it all, developing the control system embedded in our robotic device that is critical to safe and effective ankle training in the context of walking. With extensive experience and training in rehabilitation robotics at MIT, Dr. Roy has a unique perspective and skillset in translating therapy needs into robotic solutions. Dr. Roy leads all efforts in engineering including integrating robotics into the recovery pathway and generating new intellectual property. Dr. Roy has adjunct faculty appointments in both the University of Maryland school of medicine and in the James Clark School of engineering.
Larry Forrester, PhD
Dr. Forrester is the recently retired Director of the Baltimore VA Human Motor Performance Laboratory. Larry has nearly two decades of experience conducting rehabilitation research focused on therapeutic interventions to improve movement function after stroke and other neurological diseases.
Rasa Ghaffarian, PhD
Product Operations Lead
Dr. Ghaffarian earned her PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Over the past 8 years, her role has merged science, engineering, and business to translate biomedical innovations from the lab to the real world. She specializes in project management, grant writing, and business development. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, soccer, and traveling.
Nick is a mechanical engineer with a passion for design, research, and development of Mechatronics systems. With his family spread out among fields such as Medical, Engineering, & Construction; he has a variety of sources to pull inspiration from while working to design and manufacture the mechanical aspects of rehabilitation robotic systems. Nick is an avid fan of 3D printing, home automation, and video games all using his custom built PC.
DJ is a biomechanist who runs our motion analysis lab to provide objective measures of human movement and performance that can be used by our multidisciplinary team of professionals to provide the highest quality patient care. He formerly worked as the lab manager of the Baltimore VA Human Motor Performance Laboratory.
Control Systems Engineer
Suchitra is a Control Systems Engineer with NextStep Robotics and specializes in firmware development, integration and testing with robotic systems. She has a product development mindset focused on the user and enjoys working in an interdisciplinary team addressing high impact problems. She joined the NextStep family soon after receiving her Masters in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and also likes to paint and dance in her free time.
Amar Vamsi Krishna
Amar has a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering (with a focus on Robotics) from the University of Maryland at College Park. Having developed an interest in Rehabilitation Robotics through the course of his Masters’ thesis, guided by our CTO, Dr. Anindo Roy, he joined the team at NextStep. At NextStep, he works as the Systems Engineer working on the technical architecture of various aspects of AMBLE, and leading the effort on the Quality Management System.
Bryson is a Biomedical Engineer who joined NextStep Robotics shortly after finishing his Master’s degree, which was focused on Translational Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He has a passion for rehabilitation and orthopedics, shown by his focus in Prosthetics and Orthotics throughout his undergraduate and graduate education. At NextStep, he is the lead engineer on the REACH device, a rehabilitation robot for patients suffering from upper extremity impairments.
Doug obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is currently earning a Master’s of Engineering in Robotics at College Park as well. He has experience with autonomous mechatronic systems and remote sensing and has industrial interest in medical, assistive and surgical robotic systems. Doug contributes to both the AMBLE and REACH projects in a supportive role, and occupies his free time with activities such as 3D printing, building electronic projects, and playing chess.
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