Dr, Birk is working with Stony Brook University and other academic partners on the first stages of developing a Kinodynamic Model for the facet complex of the lumbar spine. Future steps will involve optimization of a Bionic Device Design suitable for 3D Printing and replacement of the diseased or damaged spine.
Although this is very much early stage research, the ultimate goal is to develop a method of retaining the natural movement of the spine.
In the video below, Dr. Birk tried out one of the devices under development at the Robotics and Rehabilitation (ROAR) Laboratory at Columbia University. A team of engineers and neurologists led by Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine, has designed a comfortable and wearable robotic neck brace that incorporates both sensors and actuators to adjust the head posture, restoring roughly 70% of the active range of motion of the human head.