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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Lenzi Named U Presidential Scholar

Congratulations to University of Utah mechanical engineering associate professor Tommaso Lenzi, who was one of four faculty members names as Presidential Scholars at the University of Utah for 2023. This award recognizes excellence and achievement for faculty members at the assistant or associate professor level and comes with $10,000 in annual funding for three years to support their scholarship and enrich their research activities. Dr. Lenzi is among the top researchers of prosthetics in the country and is well known as the designer of the Utah Bionic Leg, which was selected as one of the Best Inventions of 2023 by Time...

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Zhang and Brown Receive NIH Trailblazer Award

University of Utah mechanical engineering assistant professor Haohan Zhang and Kahlert School of Computing assistant professor Daniel Brown have received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Trailblazer Award in a multi-PI proposal. This 3-year project will develop a new neck brace for patients with dropped head syndrome that use gaze tracking to help restore head-neck mobility. The Trailblazer Awards program is a prestigious opportunity for new and early-stage faculty to pursue research programs that “integrate engineering and the physical sciences with the life and/or biomedical sciences.” Dropped head syndrome is a condition most commonly associated with neuromuscular disorders where...

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Abbott’s Space Junk Cleanup Research on Fox13

Local news outlet Fox 13 featured a story on mechanical engineering professor Jake Abbott's work on building robots to clean up space junk. Abbott has been working on this problem for several years and has developed a technology dubbed "Omnimagnet" for interacting with metallic, non-magnetized objects in space without touching them. In addition to the video below, you can view the Tossed in Space article highlighting this project....

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Fall Robotics Seminar: Drew Sabelhaus

Drew Sabelhaus from BU, who does exciting research on soft robot design and control, will be presenting as part of the Fall Robotics Seminar. Thursday, November 9th at 1pm WEB 1250 Learn more about his research: Advancing the Safety of Soft Robots for Human Interactions Bio: Prof. Andrew Sabelhaus’ research takes a control-oriented approach to the locomotion of soft and flexible robots, spanning problems in modeling, feedback, and mechanical design. His work seeks to make soft robots practical and applicable by balancing feedback control with natural, embodied intelligence, allowing a robot to safely complete tasks in unstructured environments....

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HGN Publishes Paper in MDPI Sensors

For this study, seven transfemoral amputee subjects walked on an ambulation circuit while wearing A-mode ultrasound transducers, IMU sensors, and their passive prosthesis. Our results show that A- mode ultrasound can classify ambulation mode with comparable, and in some cases, superior accuracy to mechanical sensing.his suggests that A-mode ultrasound provides additional useful information about the user’s gait beyond what is provided by mechanical sensors, and that it may be able to improve ambulation mode classification. The manuscript can be downloaded freely at this link: Sensors | Free Full-Text | Ambulation Mode Classification of Individuals with Transfemoral Amputation through A-Mode Sonomyography and...

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Learning from Prosthesis Users

During a recent workshop at the IEEE World Haptics 2023 Conference assistant professor Edoardo Battaglia from the department of mechanical engineering flipped the script on the typical academic workshop. Rather than he and his colleague giving a presentation or tutorial, they brought in prosthetic users to teach the scientists about the everyday experiences of an upper limb prosthetics user. Following the event, four of the five prosthesis users joined in as coauthors on a paper, sharing their specific experiences. That paper is now being published in Science Robotics, part of the Science family of journals, which covers the “latest technological advances and...

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Professors Zhang and George Receive Grant from ALS Association

Robotics professors Haohan Zhang and Jacob George received a seed grant of $50K from the ALS Association to develop new neck exoskeleton technologies to help ALS patients with dropped head syndrome to regain functional head-neck movements. This grant will partially support two graduate students for one year to conduct preliminary studies and data collection that are necessary for future, larger clinical trials that are aimed to translate the technology to ALS patients. This project will be in collaboration with the multidisciplinary Motor Neuron Disease clinic, directed by Dr. Mark Bromberg, at the University of Utah Hospital....

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Utah Bionic Leg Named to Time’s List of the Best Inventions of 2023

TIME’s annual list of the Best Inventions features 200 extraordinary innovations with the capacity to change people’s lives. To compile the list, TIME’s editors solicit nominations and accept applications describing groundbreaking work in key fields —such as AI, green energy, and sustainability — evaluating each contender on a number factors, including originality, efficacy, ambition, and impact. This year, TIME has selected the Utah Bionic Leg as one of the best inventions of 2023, naming it in its “Experimental” category. You can read more about it here....

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