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Current Research Projects

Lower Limb Prostheses

Lower Limb Prostheses with Dynamic Joint Alignment

Dynamic alignment is a new concept that actively realigns the residual limb with the ground reaction force during the stance phase of gait to reduce socket loading.

Improved Musculoskeletal Model in OpenSim of Below-Knee Amputees

We are developing a new forward dynamics musculoskeletal model in OpenSim in colloaboration with Locomotion Research Group at UMass-Amherst for simulating amputee gait that accounts for an amputee's unique anatomy.

Sensing Physical Human-Robot Interaction

Montitoring Bone Motion within the Socket using Ultrasound

We are developing in collaboration with FTL Labs a new enabling technology for socket fitment using ultrasonic bone tracking transceivers. It leverages high-precision line-of-sight ultrasound transceivers and intuitive visualization software to provide the prosthetist a quantifiable internal awareness of the residual limb and bone movement during fitment.

Hall Sensor

 

Robust and Compact Load Cell Design

In this project a new type of load cell is being developed based on the Hall Effect in order to create low-cost and durable load cells for use in robotic and prosthetic applications.

Embedded Systems

UMass RaspberryPIC goPack

The RaspberryPIC GoPack is an open-source prototyping platform for wearable robotics and embedded systems. It uses a custom add-on board for the Raspberry Pi to handle multiple sensors and actuators with high timing precision and wirelessly stream data back to a host PC running Simulink. The board was designed to be easily prototypable in a research lab setting - 2 layers, standard pour, no components smaller than 0603, all components on the top side. It provides a wireless robotic systems platform designed to cut down the time from concept to wearable prototype.

Interactive Robots

The UMass ExBow

The ExBow is an open-source prototyping platform for wearable robotics and embedded systems.It is intended to be an educational tool for secondary schools to get students interested in STEM.

MR-Compatiable Knee and Leg Extension Ergometer

New insights on the muscle and tissue during dynamic loading and activation of the limbs during and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS). This project works on developing a MR-compatible knee ergometer that will work in the new 3T Siemens Skyra MR machine on the Amherst campus.

 

Understanding Human Intent through Physical Interaction

The goal of this project is to enable a robot to actively collaborate with a person to move an object in an efficient and smooth manner.

Robot Totem

 

A Physically Interactive Surface Robot

The goal of this project is to create new low-cost, interactive robots for physically immersing the user in a virtual world.

 

Past Research Projects

Prostheses

Intelligent Terrain Adaptive Ankle Prostheses

An ankle prosthesis that uses semi-active damping as a mechanism to provide active slope adaptation.

A Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis

Investigation into the design and control principles for powered lower limb prosthesis. This project was conducted previously in the Center for Intelligent Mechatronics at Vanderbilt University.

Exoskeletons

Powered Hip Exoskeleton

This project focuses on developing new mechanisms to actuate the hip that leverage the natural dynamics during gait.

Pattern Recogition of Movements of the Torso

In this project we are using surface electromyography and inertial sensors to recongize movements of the torso for use in activity monitoring and control of an exoskeleton.

Passive Spine Exoskeleton

This is a two-fold project focused on modeling the dynamics of external assistance to the torso and using pattern recognition to identify the user's intent using surface electromyography and inertial sensors.

Interactive Robotics

Two-Wheeled Inverted Pendulum Walker

This project explores how to dynamically assist mobility-impaired users with balance and fall prevention using a robotic walker based on two-wheeled inverted pendulum.

uBot-7: A Dexterous Whole-Body Mobile Maniupulator

In collaboration with Laboratory of Perceptual Robotics at UMass-Amherst, the seventh generation uBot was developed with enhanced sensing through the addition of series elastic actuators at each joint.

Haptics

Haptic Feedback Tactor Array

A modular tactor array used provide proprioceptive feedback of wrist motion for upper limb amputees.