Rehabilitation Robotics

Sensory Feedback for Smart Prosthetics

Researchers aim for 'direct brain control' of prosthetic arms

Engineers work to design prosthetic arm that allows amputees to feel what they touch

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Engineering researchers at four U.S. universities are embarking on a four-year project to design a prosthetic arm that amputees can control directly with their brains and that will allow them to feel what they touch. While it may sound like science fiction, the researchers say much of the technology has already been proven in small-scale demonstrations.

The research at Rice University, the University of Michigan, Drexel University and the University of Maryland is made possible by a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Human-Centered Computing program.

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Engineering the Ineffable

To investigate the 'human' side of human-robot interactions, the MAHI Lab is looking to collaborators beyond engineering disciplines to improve the work we do. With Dr. Marcia Brennan in the Department of Religion, we are making connections to the deeply personal nature of injury, impairment, and rehabilitation to better understand the participants in our studies. Working as a literary artist, Dr.

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Active

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Computational Neurorehabilitation

Robotic exoskeletons can be effective tools for providing repetitive and high dose rehabilitation therapy. However, currently there is a lack of techniques to design therapy systematically using the myriad of subject-specific experimental data that is available from these devices. We envision an objective and systematic approach that combines experimental data with computational simulations for designing robot-assisted rehabilitation therapies.

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Active

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Real-Time Myoelectric Control of an Elbow-Wrist Exoskeleton

Electromyographic (EMG) control interfaces have the potential to increase the effectiveness and accessibility of rehabilitation robotics to a larger population of impaired individuals, including those with no residual motion in their upper limb. Building on our previous work to characterize the surface EMG patterns of able-bodied and incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI) subjects, we have developed a real-time controller for the MAHI EXO-II upper limb exoskeleton.

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Active

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Remembering Motor Skills with Reward-Based Reinforcement, Haptic Guidance, and Error Augmentation

There has been significant research aimed at leveraging programmable robotic devices to provide haptic assistance or augmentation to a human user so that new motor skills can be trained efficiently and retained long after training has concluded. The success of these approaches has been varied, and retention of skill is typically not significantly better for groups exposed to these controllers during training. These findings point to a need to incorporate a more complete understanding of human motor learning principles when designing haptic interactions with the trainee.

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Inactive

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