Xiruo Completes!

On Friday 8th September, Xiruo Cheng delivered her Completion Seminar for her thesis titled “Investigation of User Volitional Influence on Foot Placement in Assistive Lower Limb Exoskeleton”.

Xiruo’s work investigated how an exoskeleton user – typically someone with little lower limb movement capability, such as an individual with a spinal cord injury – can physically influence the resulting foot placement when using an exoskeleton. Her work informs the development of strategies for exoskeleton control to include and leverage this physical influence.

Congratulations Xiruo!

Journalist: Justin

Congratulations Jing and Xinliang!

Introducing our recent graduates, Jing, who has earned a PhD, and Xinliang, who has completed his MPhil, following their graduation ceremony on August 11st. Jing has now taken on the role of postdoctoral research fellow in the Biomedical Engineering Department, and Xinliang is working towards his PhD degree in the Human Robotics Lab.

Congrats Dr Jing Mu! Congrats Xinliang!

Mini-Workshop Exploring Future of Musculoskeletal Care

On August 18th, the Mechanical Engineering Research Student Association (MERSA) and the Student Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association (SOMA) co-hosted a mini-workshop focusing on engineering solutions for orthopaedic challenges. Held at Melbourne Connect, the evening featured two speakers: A/Prof. Erich Rutz (Royal Children’s Hospital) and Dr Tomislav Bacek (Research Fellow, Human Robotics Lab), who delved into the surgical treatment and research around musculoskeletal aspects of Cerebral Palsy, and explored the nuances of human walking dynamics and its implications for robotics-assisted physical rehabilitation, respectively. We are delighted to hear our audience finding it very helpful and already hoping to attend the next event.

Journalist: Mingrui

Mini-symposium on Human-Robot Interaction and Interfacing

On July 31st, the Human Robotics Lab hosted a mini-symposium on human-robot interaction and interfacing with visiting neuroscientists, roboticists and a performance from the local performance artist Stelarc. Within the symposium, we heard interesting talks from Prof. Carsten Mehring (University of Freiburg) on efforts to identify biological signals for augmenting the mechanical abilities of humans; Dr Ekaterina Ivanova (Queen Mary University of London/Imperial College London) on understanding the mechanisms of haptic communication between groups of humans and in trying to replicate those mechanisms for human-robot interaction. While Prof. Etienne Burdet (Imperial College London) was unfortunately unable to join us in person, we were also very lucky to have a talk from him on impedance and muscle adaptation for human-robot interaction.

To conclude the symposium, Stelarc then gave a demonstration that integrated his extended arm with a sonic bracelet and our own EMU robot (for gravitational support), providing his own unique perspective and insights on human augmentation through robotics.

Journalist: Jon

Congratulations Ricardo!

The COVID-19 Pandemic has resigned most of us to be at home for the past couple of months, but that hasn’t stopped Ricardo, who recently delivered his Completion Seminar.

Ricardo’s work over the past 4 years has explored how kinematic synergies can used to control prostheses. Of particular interest, as he presented in his seminar, is a method for personalising these synergies to an individual in a time-efficient way, allowing this personalisation to occur within one clinical session.

Congratulations Ricardo!

Vale Michael Munforte

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Michael Munforte – a student who had been working towards his PhD over the last couple of years. Michael passed away peacefully in his sleep in mid-November, after a long illness.

Michael himself was an amputee, with a dream to build a prothesis that he himself was satisfied with. He was a joy to be around, and an inspiration to all of us (see his article on The Importance of Distractions for a glimpse).

Rest in Peace, Michael – you will be missed.

Summer School on Neurorehabilitation

The Summer School on Neurorehabilitation 2019 took place in Parador de Baiona (Spain) from 15th to 20th of September. Each day was dedicated to a certain topic: neuromodulation, clinical, prosthetics and students day and kicked off with 2 to 4 Keynote Speakers in the field. A great effort by the keynote speakers gave the auditorium an interesting insight in each field and advances of the last two decades as well as current and future challenges. The prosthetics day was particularly of great interest for our students Ricardo and Raphael listing to Antonio Bicchi and Dario Farina showing motor synergies as well as sEMG as a Neural Interface, before Levi Hargorove showed advances in active lower limb prosthetics and Oskar Aszmann gave an insight into plastic surgery and possible ways to tackle possible amputations to deliver the best outcome for the patient.

The social program brought the group to either the Cies Islands or Santiago de Compostela to spend some more time and network with the rest of the group of students and researchers. A final gala dinner once again delivered amazing food and a great atmosphere to continue interesting talks and finishing of the week.

The Human-Robotics Lab Attends EMBC 2019

From 23 – 27 July, Arvind and Raphael attended the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC) in Berlin, Germany.

The theme this year was “Biomedical engineering ranging from wellness to intensive care”, where hundreds of papers were presented. Amongst those were Arvind’s paper titled “Integrated Force Sensor in a Cochlear Implant for Hearing Preservation Surgery”, and Raphael’s paper “Bone Conduction as Sensory Feedback Interface: A Preliminary Study”.

You can read more about both these projects in our Projects Page, and the publications themselves on the Publications Page.

Gijo Wins Best Student Paper Award

Congratulations to Gijo, who won Best Student Paper at the recent IEEE Conference on Control and Automation (ICCA) in Edinburgh Scotland!

Gijo’s paper, “On the implementation of feedback-based PD-type iterative learning control for robotic manipulators with hard input constraints” introduced a strategy for introduce a ILC controller into systems which have limitations on their inputs – for example, robotic manipulators which have actuators unable to produce infinite torque (i.e. all actuators!).

Well done Gijo!

Visit from Mount St Joseph Girls’ College

On the 25th of June we had a group of 15 girls from the Mount St Joseph Girls’ College for a lab tour. We started the tour with an introduction of the general aims of the research group, which was followed by splitting up into four groups to each get an introduction by each of the four stations.

Those stations presented the different projects in the lab, ranging from advanced prosthetic topics using virtual reality for synergistic control of upper limbs, 3D printed actuated hands, sensory feedback via bone conduction to rehabilitation topics presenting two different approaches for rehabilitation of stroke patients. The room was filled with interest in the research topics, loads of questions and laughs when trying each of the experiments.

It was great to share our research and we are looking forward to hopefully see some of the girls again in the future pursuing careers in engineering or academia!

Number of posts found: 40