UWR Lab Published in TNSRE

Dr. Haohan Zhang and the Utah Wearable Robotics Lab have published in the IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering (TNSRE) journal entitled “Preliminary Study on Effects of Neck Exoskeleton Structural Design in Patients With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”. ABSTRACT: Neck muscle weakness due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can result in dropped head syndrome, adversely impacting the quality of life of those affected. Static neck collars are currently prescribed to hold the head in a fixed upright position. However, these braces are uncomfortable and do not allow any voluntary head-neck movements. By contrast, powered neck exoskeletons have the...

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U Student Robotics Club Scores Bronze at National Competition

The Utah Student Robotics club from the University of Utah’s John and Marcia Price College of Engineering is returning home from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with awards in tow. The U team started in a field of 58, and made it to the University of Central Florida’s Lunabotics Qualifying Event held at the Florida Space Institute’s Exolith Lab alongside 41 other teams. Placing second at the Qualifying event, the U Team moved on to the Kennedy Space Center to compete in the challenge’s Finals. Read the full story here....

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Proj. Jacob George Recognized as Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor

As part of the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering 2024 convocation ceremony, Professor Jacob George was recognized as an Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor. George is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where he actively involves undergraduates in research activities. Since becoming a faculty member in 2020, he has mentored over 30 undergraduates, including many UROP-supported students. Students have been engaged in all aspects of research on topics related to neurorobotics, bionics, and brain-computer interfaces. His undergraduate mentees have been first author on five journal manuscripts, co-author on 18 more, and have authored...

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UWR Lab Publishes in Nature Scientific Reports

Dr. Haohan Zhang and the Utah Wearable Robotics Lab has published a paper in Nature Scientific Reports titled “A six degrees-of-freedom cable-driven robotic platform for head–neck movement”. This paper introduces a novel cable-driven robotic platform that enables six degrees-of-freedom (DoF) natural head–neck movements. Poor postural control of the head–neck can be a debilitating symptom of neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Current treatments using static neck collars are inadequate, and there is a need to develop new devices to empower movements and facilitate physical rehabilitation of the head–neck. State-of-the-art neck exoskeletons using lower DoF mechanisms with...

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Seminar: Minimalist Robot Controllers for Planar Construction

Speaker: Andrew Vardy, Memorial University of Newfoundland Title: Minimalist Robot Controllers for Planar Construction 4/16/24 – 2pm in WEB L102 Abstract: The Bio-Inspired Robotics Lab (BOTS) at Memorial University has been working to develop robotic swarms that can modify their environments.  Potential applications range from household cleaning to clearing sea ice from shipping channels.  In the planar construction task, mobile robots manipulate ambient objects into a desired shape.  In this talk, I will review our recent research on planar construction and related problems.  I will also provide a preview of a new approach that makes use of a minimalist robot...

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Seminar: Human-Machine and Human-Human Physical Interaction: How do we collaborate?

Talk Title: Human-Machine and Human-Human Physical Interaction: How do we collaborate? Speaker: Dr. Simone Fani 4/9/24 – 2pm in WEB L102 Talk Abstract:                                   Human-Machine interaction is a broad term that can include multiple types of interactions between humans and machines, usually considering more “intelligent” machines. Machines, in all forms, are increasingly present in our everyday life, from computers, to technologically advanced vehicles. Although human-machine interactions are ubiquitous, commercial applications of human-robot physical interactions (HPI) remain underdeveloped because of safety concerns and the challenges of enabling seamless interactions. These challenges have prevented the development of commercial HPI devices for collaborative, assistive...

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Seminar: Cooperative Encirclement for Multi-Agent Systems

Title: Cooperative Encirclement for Multi-Agent SystemsSpeaker: Prof. Cammy Peterson 4/1/24 – 2pm in WEB L102 Abstract: Multi-agent systems (MASs) are valuable due to the advantages they offer compared to single-agent systems. MASs can increase areas of operation, provide time sensitive information, and produce high fidelity information.  For example, a group of coordinating agents can provide different viewing angles on objects of interest for better target tracking and classification.  This talk will discuss a decentralized method for using a MAS to cooperatively encircle moving targets.  The method uses Lyapunov functions to derive control laws and is applicable to a wide...

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Seminar: General-Purpose Al for Humans, Robots, and Science

Title: General-Purpose Al for Humans, Robots, and ScienceSpeaker: Prof. Boyuan Chen from Duke 3/19/24 – 2pm in WEB L102 Abstract: Despite the accelerating progress in robotics, robots today remain relatively narrow in their capabilities. To have robots that can work seamlessly with humans, I will advocate building “generalist robots” that are good at multiple tasks, in various complex environments. My research studies how to build generalist robots by learning to model the world. I will show that current ideas on building generalist robots have produced powerful results such as robots making decisions through self-image and self-modeling, multi-agent robotic systems...

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Seminar: Using Data for Increased Realism in Haptic Modeling and Devices

Title: Using Data for Increased Realism in Haptic Modeling and DevicesSpeaker: Prof. Heather Culbertson 3/12/24 – 2pm in WEB L102 Abstract: The haptic (touch) sensations felt when interacting with the physical world create a rich and varied impression of objects and their environment. Humans can discover a significant amount of information through touch with their environment, allowing them to assess object properties and qualities, dexterously handle objects, and communicate social cues and emotions. Humans are spending significantly more time in the digital world, however, and are increasingly interacting with people and objects through a digital medium. Unfortunately, digital interactions...

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Seminar: Reinforcement learning to predict sensor signals during walking in animal models and humans

Title: Towards Human–AI SafetySpeaker: Ashley Dalrymple, Assistant Professor, Dept of Biomedical Engineering at the U 2/27/24 – 2pm in WEB L102 Abstract: Walking is how we navigate our environments, explore, and get from place-to-place. After injury to the nervous system, such as with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury or stroke, walking is often impaired. Regaining the ability to walk is of high importance to people with paralysis. Currently, clinical rehabilitation methods can only take a patient so far in terms of the recovery of function. We aim to augment the rehabilitation using electrical stimulation and/or powered orthoses. However, the extent...

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