2022 NSF GRFP recipients of Michigan Robotics

April 18, 2022
Karen Sussex, an upper-limb amputee from Jackson, Mich., operates a Touch Bionics I-LIMB prosthetic hand as Alex Vaskov, robotics Ph.D. candidate, looks on during a testing session at a lab in the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI on June 13, 2019, for an advanced prosthetics study at U-M.
The Cortical Neural Prosthetics Lab conducts research on utilizing signals from arm nerves to enable real-time, intuitive, finger-level control of a robotic hand, supported in part by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Congratulations to the graduate students who have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowships. The program, which helps ensure the quality, vitality, and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce, recognizes graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing masters and doctoral degrees.

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Exoskeletons with personalize-your-own settings

March 30, 2022
Leo Medrano, a PhD student in the Neurobionics Lab at the University of Michigan, tests out an ankle exoskeleton on a two-track treadmill. Researchers were able to give the exoskeleton user direct control to tune its behavior, allowing them to find the right torque and timing settings for themselves.

To transform human mobility, exoskeletons need to interact seamlessly with their user, providing the right level of assistance at the right time to cooperate with our muscles as we move. 

To help achieve this, University of Michigan researchers gave users direct control to customize the behavior of an ankle exoskeleton.

Not only was the process faster than the conventional approach, in which an expert would decide the settings, but it may have incorporated preferences an expert would have missed. For instance, user height and weight, which are commonly used metrics for tuning exoskeletons and robotic prostheses, had no effect on preferred settings.

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Talia Moore earns Robotics Faculty Award

January 25, 2022
Talia Moore

Talia Moore, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received the first Robotics Departmental Faculty Award in recognition of “high impact accomplishments benefitting Robotics and the College of Engineering.”

Moore officially joined the Robotics Institute as a core faculty member in 2021, however began contributing to the program in 2018 while a postdoctoral fellow in ecology and evolutionary biology. At that time, Moore created the “Robotics Interfaces” seminar series supported by a grant from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This series organized partnerships between Robotics and departments around the university to invite speakers whose talks brought not only speakers from biology, architecture, and fashion, but brought together students from varied programs to discuss the ways in which their disciplines overlap.

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U-M, Humotech partner to bring open-source bionic leg to research labs

December 16, 2021

The open-source, artificially intelligent prosthetic leg designed by researchers at the University of Michigan will be brought to the research market by Humotech, a Pittsburgh-based assistive technology company.

The goal of the collaboration is to speed the development of control software for robotic prosthetic legs, which have the potential to provide the power and natural gait of a human leg to prosthetic users.

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