Contact Robotics: Controlling Physical Interaction for Therapeutic and Assistive Applications

Neville Hogan
Neville Hogan
December 6, 2012, 16:00 ~ 16:40

Abstract :

Skillful control of physical interaction is essential for emerging therapeutic and assistive robot te chnologies. Robot-aided neuro-motor therapy—now clinically proven to be effective—requires se nsitive but forceful physical interaction with a patient. Controlling physical interaction is challeng ing; contact can severely de-stabilize a robot. Motorized amputation prostheses present even great er challenges; they must manage physical interaction with objects in the world as well as with th e amputee. This talk will review how machine mimicry of natural control provides the gentleness required for robot-aided therapy and enables seamless coordination of natural and prosthetic limb s. Controlling mechanical impedance is the key to managing physical interaction. I will argue tha t knowledge of the human neuro-mechanical system is a pre-requisite for success in these applic ations and present recent studies of the human wrist and ankle mechanical impedance.


Research Area :



Honors and Awards :

  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Dublin Institute of Technology, 2004
  • Silver Medal, Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, 2004
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Delft, 1997
  • Whitaker Health Sciences Fund Faculty Fellowship

Professional Career(highlight) :

  • Professor: Mechanical Engineering, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
  • Director of the Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation, MIT
  • Co-founder of Interactive Motion Technologies, Inc., and a board member of Advanced Mechanical Technologies, Inc.