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Challenging Environment Assessment Labs (CEAL)

CEAL is the only facility of its kind in the world. This massive underground lab features the world’s first hydraulic motion simulator that can mimic everyday environmental challenges faced by older people and those with disabling injury or illness.

Using a multitude of customizable testing environments, researchers are able to recreate conditions such as ice and snow, different terrain and slopes.

This allows researchers to safely and accurately measure the difficulties encountered in the real world. The lab is also used to evaluate the impact of new treatments, devices and technologies developed at Toronto Rehab.

CEAL includes a large (6m x 6m), 6-degree-of-freedom motion platform that can be configured with various interchangeable payloads (portable, self-contained laboratory spaces). One is WinterLab which has a real ice floor and can reach sub-zero temperatures and produce winds up to 15 km an hour. Another payload, called StreetLab, has a 180 degree field-of-view curved visual projection screen combined with a treadmill interface and a wheelchair simulator. There's also StairLab which has a fully instrumented staircase. The newest, DriverLab, is the most advanced driving simulator in Canada. It will be used to challenge drivers with difficult scenarios while maintaining safety at all times. All payloads are outfitted with state-of-the-art motion capture systems, eye-trackers, surround sound systems and force plates.

CEAL provides unique opportunities for researchers interested in many different research areas, including: perception-action coupling, multisensory integration (visual, auditory, proprioceptive and vestibular), visual and auditory processing, virtual reality, biomechanics, the development of assistive devices and mobility aids, and usability testing of new products, techniques and technologies.

CEAL is located in the new tower at Toronto Rehab’s University Centre (550 University Avenue), in the heart of Toronto’s Discovery District.


Jennifer Campos, PhD

Chief Scientist, CEAL
+1 (416) 597-3422 ext. 7958
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