Max Joseph Burns

Max Joseph Burns

Scholar Title

MIT MechE | Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

Dynamic Gait Analysis with an Instrumented Walking Cane




Mechanical Engineering

Research Areas
  • Biological and Medical Devices and Systems

Neville J. Hogan


Falls are a serious threat to the health and independence of older adults, and quantitative assessment of fall risk or standardized balance examinations are rare. In this project, we are using an instrumented walking cane to assess balance, by measuring the motion of the user’s hand and the force they apply to the cane. We collected data from a cohort of people over 65, and are using this data to train regression models which predict the user’s body sway. This device could provide a continuous, quantitative assessment of a patient’s balance over long periods of time, informing physicians of changes in their patients’ health and allowing them to prescribe interventions early.


I am participating in the SuperUROP program because it will strengthen my capability as a researcher and provide invaluable project experience. I’m always learning new things about presenting my work and designing experiments, so I look forward to the guided format of the SuperUROP program. I am also excited to strengthen my communication skills, and deepen my understanding of human balance by continuing to work with the MIT Newman Lab.

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