Developing successful bionic limb technologies is an endeavor that needs a deep understanding of diverse aspects spanning from rehabilitation medicine to biomechanics, engineering, and technology transfer. For such innovations to have a true impact in society, it is necessary to consider not only new scientific and technological ideas, but also the requirements of all stakeholders (e.g., healthcare system, clinicians, regulatory agencies, producers, etc.), as well as business-related factors (e.g., operation cost, market placement, etc.). This hands-on workshop discusses the development of next-generation bionic limb technologies in the context of three major aspects: scientific advances, clinical translation, and industrial exploitation.
The scheduled talks will present latest scientific advances in mechatronic design, control, and sensory feedback towards the creation of powered prostheses that operate as an extension of the human body. That is, the prostheses that are controlled by the human nervous system and provide sensory feedback to the amputee to enhance proprioception and embodiment.
The presenters will provide live DEMOs of bionic limb related technologies including powered prosthetic legs, real-time myoelectric musculoskeletal models for control, and real-time somatosensory feedback technologies. The proposed setting will move the workshop beyond the classical presentation-based paradigm and it will provide direct insights into relevant bionic limb-related problems and solution.
Invited speakers: Prof. Hugh Herr (MIT), Prof. He (Helen) Huang (NCSU), Dr. Levi Hargrove (Shirley Ryan AbilityLab), Dr. Lorenzo De Michieli (IIT), Dr. Manuel G. Catalano (IIT), Prof. Dr. Johan Rietman (UTwente, Roessingh R&D), Dr. Jose Gonzalez (Ottobock).
Schedule at a glance
16:00 - 16:05 - Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Vargas
SimBionics: Neuromechanical Simulation and Sensory Feedback for the Control of Bionic Legs
16:05 - 16:15 - Prof. He (Helen) Huang
Myoelectric Control of Robotic Lower Limb Prostheses
16:15 - 16:25 - Dr. Matteo Laffranchi
An embedded noninvasive proprioceptive feedback interface for upper limb prostheses: implementation on the Hannes prosthetic hand
16:25 - 16:35 - Dr. Manuel G. Catalano
The SoftFoot: a novel approach to foot-ground adaptability
16:35 - 17:10 - Demos
17:10 - 17:30 - Prof. Hugh Herr (Online)
Proprioceptive and Cutaneous Mechanoneural Interfaces for the Bidirectional Control of Bionic Limbs
Prof. Hugh Herr is a renowned scientist at the forefront of developing bionic limbs that mimic the functionality of natural limbs. As a Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab and co-leader of the Yang Center for Bionics at MIT, he has made significant advancements in bionic limbs, providing increased mobility and renewed hope for individuals with physical disabilities. Dr. Herr has authored and co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and patents, documenting the scientific and technological aspects of his numerous innovations. Some notable inventions include active Leg Exoskeletons, Powered Ankle-Foot Prostheses, and neural interfacing technologies. In 2015, Dr. Herr's research group at MIT developed the Agonist-Antagonist Myoneural Interface, a pioneering surgical technique for limb amputation and neural interfacing. This procedure empowers individuals with limb loss to control their artificial limbs through their thoughts and experience natural sensations from the synthetic limb. Learn more about Prof. Hugh Herr:
Prof. Huang is a professor at the North Carolina State University, and is the Director of the Closed-Loop Engineering for Advanced Rehabilitation (CLEAR) Core. Prof. Huang's area of research focuses on exploring the intersection of science and technology to establish and enhance a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and wearable assistive machines, such as robotic prostheses and exoskeletons. The primary objective of her research is to improve the mobility and overall quality of life for individuals with disabilities. She aims to make significant advancements in the field of human-machine symbiotic (HMS) systems, empowering disabled individuals to lead more active and productive lives. Learn more about Prof. Huang:
Dr. Catalano is a Researcher in IIT under the research line SoftRobotics for Human Cooperation and Rehabilitation. He is also Research Fellow at Centro di Ricerca E. Piaggio - University of Pisa, and at MayoClinic, Rochester, USA. He received the Laurea degree in Mechanical Engineering and the Doctoral degree in Robotics and Bioengineering from the E. Piaggio Research Center at the University of Pisa. Dr. Catalano is Principal Investigator of the EU Project “Reconcycle” and coordinates the activities of the “JoIInt Lab” in Bergamo, a technology transfer collaboration between IIT and Intellimech, a consortium of Medium and Big Mechatronic Enterprises. Today his main research interests are in the design of Soft Robotics systems, Human-Robot Interaction, Avatars, Prosthetics, and Rehabilitation. Recent results of his contributions are the prosthetic hand SoftHand Pro; the SoftFoot a proof-of-concept soft robotic foot; Alter-Ego a soft humanoid robot for physical interaction in autonomous, and teleoperated contexts, and the Walk-Man platform, a humanoid robot designed for the DARPA Robotic Challenge. Learn more about Dr. Catalano:
Matteo Laffranchi is Coordinator of Robotics at Rehab Technologies Lab, IIT. His main works focus on the development of novel mechatronic systems for robotic applications.
He received a Master's Degree in mechatronic engineering from the Polytechnic University of Turin in 2006 and a PhD in robotics from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 2011. Following a brief experience in the automation industry at OSAI A. S., in the period 2008-2011 he has been Research Fellow and Post-Doc researcher from 2011 to 2014 at the department of Advanced Robotics (ADVR), Italian Institute of Technology. At ADVR, he spent 6 years developing compliant actuation systems for robotics and robots (CompAct actuators, CompAct arm) for safe physical human-robot interaction.
Since 2014, he works at Rehab Technologies, Italian Institute of Technology, with specific focus on the development of novel healthcare robots, particularly robotic prostheses and exoskeletons (Hannes, Pro-Leg, Twin, Float). He now manages the activities related to robotics research and product development within the lab starting from 2016.
Along with research and development, he is also involved in technology transfer activities and in entrepreneurial projects to bring the developed technology to the medical and industrial robotics industries since 2012.
Jose Gonzalez-Vargas is the Head of the Research Hub Germany (Global Research), Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA in Germany.
His research focuses on the development of human-machine interfaces, robotics and neuro-rehabilitation devices. In his past he has designed robotic systems, embedded electronics and control algorithms (e.g. development of a bio-inspired control scheme of an elastic actuator using “Feedback Error Learning”). He has experience working on several research and industry related projects, in a variety of countries. Learn more about Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Vargas: