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.