Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab - click to go to homepage
IATSL develops assistive technology that is adaptive, flexible, and intelligent, enabling users to participate fully in their daily lives. Learn more about our research

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Room 438

500 University Ave.

Toronto, Canada

P 416.946.8573

F 416.946.8570


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160 - 500 University Ave.

Toronto, ON, M5G 1V7



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News Announcements

Past stories of interest to the lab:


Dr. Babak Taati receives CSR and NSERC grants

May 31, 2013

IATSL's Prof. Babak Taati recently received funding from both the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery (HSFCSR) to investigate "Customizing Novel Virtual Rehabilitation Exercises to the Specific Physical Limitations of Individual Stroke Survivors" and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant to investigate "Vision-Based Evaluation of Mobility, Physical Health, and Rehabilitation Progress in Natural Settings".


Alex discusses IATSL's research

Oct. 19, 2011

Alex talks about the research going on in IATSL at the Global Research Summit on Alzheimer's Disease in Madrid, Spain.

Submissions to RESNA is now open

Sept. 20, 2011

RESNA's call for Workshop,Instructional Course, Scientific and Student Scientific proposals is now open. Visit RESNA's website for submission details and deadlines.


Sept. 7, 2011

IATSL has just authored a book introducing the concept of zero-effort technologies (ZETs) - technologies which require little or no effort on the part of the user to accomplish their intended goals. To learn more about ZETs, visit the publisher's website to read the abstract and to pick up your very own copy!

IATSL is Hiring a Research Assistant!

June 30, 2011

This position is now filled - thank you to everyone for their interest!

IATSL's research showcased in innovative gallery at TRI

January, 2011

IATSL's fall detection and COACH systems were among the many research projects that are now showcased on TRI's innovations website.


Congratulations to Babak Taati, recipient of the MITACS fellowship!

December 1, 2010

MITACS NCE Strategic Project has awarded Babak Taati of IATSL with an NCE Strategic Post-doctoral Fellowship. The fellowship will support a mobility neuro-rehabilitation research project aimed at post-stroke recovery.

IATSL Co-authors Paper with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

August 26, 2010

IATSL and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario have developed the discussion paper "Sensors and In-Home Collection of Health Data: A Privacy by Design Approach". This paper investigates the merits of addressing security and privacy during the development of devices intended to support in-home healthcare.

Call for Papers on Sensing Technologies for Biomechatronics

April 23, 2010

IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics is publishing a Focused Section on Sensing Technologies for Biomechatronics, which will be dedicated to the new advances in modeling, design, fabrication, analysis, implementation, and validation of such sensors and related technologies for biomedical applications. Paper submission deadline is Nov. 1, 2010.

Follow IATSL Twitter

April 12, 2010

Twitter logoFollow IATSL and our research on Twitter



Visit us at MARS' Business of Aging Event

December 1-2, 2009

IATSL will be presenting the fall detection and emergency response device and other research at MARS's Business of Aging event.

Business of Aging event logo

Aging-in-place Projects in the News

October 20, 2009

IATSL's making headlines again! The automated emergency response system, anti-collision wheelchair, and haptic stroke rehabilitation device were recently covered by CP24 and Global TV.

COACH Paper in the Top 10 Most Accessed

October 12, 2009

The article "The COACH prompting system to assist older adults with dementia through handwashing: An efficacy study" published in BMC Geriatrics is among the top 10 most viewed articles this year!

IATSL's Vicky Young Recipient of Engineering Scholarship

August , 2009

Congratulations to Vicky Young, recipient of the Engineers Canada - TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and the HCTP fellowship scholarships! The award recognises "...excellence in the Canadian engineering profession and to support advanced studies and research" for her work with automated speech recognition for older adults.

Dr. Alex Mihailidis, Associate Professor!

July 1, 2009

A big and well-deserved congratulations to Alex for becoming a fully tenured Professor at the University of Toronto!

Research on Automated Stair Safety Analysis Tool Presented at ICVSS

July, 2009

IATSL's research on the automated falls detection system was well received at the third International Computer Vision Summer School (ICVSS).

Image of IVCSS poster

Poster presented at ICVSS - click to enlarge

Fall Detection System Patented

May, 2009

IATSL's first patent has been filed for the fall detection and emergency response system.

IATSL Recipient of CIHR

February 2, 2009

IATSL has just become the recipient of a CIHR Operating Grant. The funds will be used to move the COACH system out of the lab and into a real home environment. We will be examining the impact of the system on informal caregivers as well as its performance regarding guidance of people with dementia through activities of daily living.

Featured Article

January 29, 2009

The efficacy of the COACH prompting system to assist older adults with dementia through activities of daily living: An intervention study makes front page as a featured article in the current edition of BMC Geriatrics!


Innovative IATSL!

September 2, 2008

IATSL's research was the topic of the first article in the Toronto Star's special series on "Innovators".

Familiarity study well received at ICAD

August 8, 2008

The preliminary results of IATSL's RERC study examining the impact of familiarity on faucet use by older adults with different degrees of dementia (none, mild and moderate) was presented to the ICAD conference. The second half of this study, which includes older adults with severe dementia, is currently underway.

Image of poster presented at ICADPoster presented at IACD - click to enlarge


IATSL listed in AAAI

May 20, 2008

IATSL was listed by AAAI's AI Topics (defined by AAAI as "a dynamic library of introductory information about Artificial Intelligence") as a good place to start learning about Assistive Technology! Explore AAAI's very useful resource to AI-based Assistive Technology...

COACH wins advanced vision project award

January 16, 2008

The COACH project was named the 2008 Medical Imaging Solution of the Year by Advanced Imaging Magazine.


"Thank you" to the Baker Centre!

November 23, 2007

The end of October marked the completion of the RERC clinical trials at the Harold & Grace Baker Centre. Completion of the trials was celebrated with speeches, awards and of course cake. It was all smiles as Alex, Kate, Jen and Tammy presented the certificates of participation to all the subjects, who partook in the hand washing clinical trials. A big thank you to everyone at the Baker Centre!

Photos of the end of trials party at the Baker Centre The end of trials celebratory party at the Baker Centre

Winner of the Best Poster Award

November 15, 2007

IATSL's doctoral candidate Stefanie Blain won the award for best poster at U of T's Rehabilitation Sciences Research Day for her work with preference elicitation for locked-in kids. Congratulations Stef!

Stef's prize winning poster
Stef's prize -winning poster (click to enlarge)

News from across the pond...

April 14, 2007

The COACH project has been featured on the BBC as well as in the Scottish press, including an interview with our ex-postdoc and current Scottish colleague, Jesse Hoey.

A great paper!

March 26, 2007

A recent paper presented by Jesse Hoey at the 5th International Conference on Computer Vision Systems Conference in Bielefeld, Germany, "Assisting persons with dementia during handwashing using a partially observable Markov decision process", was the winner of the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) Best Paper Award. Congratulations to the authors!


March 21, 2007

Lab mates Axel von Bertoldi and Jennifer Boger had a great time at the 2007 CAST conference in Washington D.C. where they met other researchers in the field of high-tech assistive technology and presented IATSL's research, including a life size demo of the COACH.

Photo of Jen and Axel with the COACH demoJen and Axel present COACH to a CAST 2007 attendee

Noticing dynamic taillights

March 23, 2007

Research done by IATSL's postdoc Zhonghai Li into the design of more noticeable, safer taillights has been drawing attention. Read more about Zhonghai's taillight research in The Daily Telegraph, the Discovery Channel, and the New Scientist.

Jasper's been profiled

February 21, 2007

Jasper Snoek, a masters student in the lab, was chosen by the Department of Computer Science at U of T as an exemplary and revolutionary graduate student in the department. Read what he had to say about his experience in CS at U of T...



December 6, 2006

IATSL was pleased to have some of our home monitoring and response technology showcased on CTV's Canada AM - Canadians on the Cutting Edge.

2nd Annual TRI Research Day

November 29, 2006

IATSL's own Paul Lam and Patricia Kan presented their research poster on The Development of an Intelligent Haptic Upper-Limb Stroke Rehabilitation Device at the 2nd annual TRI Research Day. They also had an unforgettable Mad Minute presentation!

Photo of Paul, Patricia, and their poster

Patricia and Paul beside their poster (click on the image to read the poster)

Best Poster Award

August 21 , 2006

Jennifer Chung, a former U of T Engineering Science student and now in her first year of medicine at Queen's University, has been working on the Autism Emulation Project since 2005. Jenn won the best poster award at the University of Toronto's Engineering Science Research Day for her poster. Congrats Jenn!

Best poster award winner - click to enlargeThe winning poster: A Mediated-Reality Device Based on the Autistic Sensory Experience (click image to enlarge)

IATSL has a new Postdoc

September 26 , 2006

IATSL welcomes Zhonghai Li as our new Postdoctoral Fellow! Amongst his academic pursuits, Zhonghai will assist in research on the Impact of Familiarity and Design on Product Use. Welcome aboard Zhonghai!


CanestaVision Phase II Winners!!

November 8, 2005

IATSL is the official grand prize winner in Canesta Inc.'s CanestaVision contest! The goal was to apply their 3-D, infrared sensor to a real-world application. Read more about the contest in the CanestaVision Contest Press release or visit the Canesta website. You can also view IATSL's award-winning video (right-click on link and choose "Save Link As..." to view video) and learn more about the project and our other Wheelchair Obstacle Avoidance research.

IATSL's Out to Lunch

Sept. 30, 2005

Some of the IATSL group went out for lunch at the Village Idiot to celebrate their newest alumni. Congratulations to Tony (M.Sc.) and Melinda (M.Sc.)!

The IATSL gang at lunch

Melinda and Tony Have Defended!

Sept. 9, 2005

Melinda had a successful defence today, joining Tony as Masters of our lab alumni. Congratulations!

CanestaVision Contest - Phase II

August 29, 2005

IATSL has submitted our entry to the CanestaVision contest! Watch a video of the obstacle avoidance wheelchair system at work. Learn more about IATSL's work on Wheelchair Collision Avoidance.

June 7 - Lorisa Dubuc, a PhD student from Computer Science at Cambridge in England, presented her research to the IATSL group. She is doing research work on what constitutes obstacles in conversation for people with dementia and the opportunities that are present for technology to play a role in augmenting conversation.

March - The IATSL Lab has moved! We are now located in a new 650 square foot facility on the 4th floor at 500 University Avenue (room 438). The additional design and testing space provides us with facilities to develop cutting-edge technologies, as well as the ability to create mock-ups of different types of test environments.

February, 2005 - IATSL is one of ten groups to win Phase I of the CanestaVision contest. For Phase II, we will investigate the use of a Canesta infrared sensor in an automatic anti-collision system for powered wheelchairs. Learn more about IATSL's work on Wheelchair Collision Avoidance.