The program will be composed by regular, special and poster sessions, and workshops. Furthermore, plenary lectures will be given by well-known scientists in the field of NeuroRehabilitation. The program will aim at enriching the knowledge of the participants, widening their point of view on specific topics related to NeuroRehabilitation, and getting in closer contact with experts in this field.
Confirmed plenary speakers:
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
Title: Human-Robot Integration to support Cognitive and Physical Rehabilitation
Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza received the Laurea degree in physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1990 and the PhD in Engineering at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA), in 1994. Since November 2006, she is Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Robotics at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. Since Nov. 2004 to Oct. 2007, she was Director of the Research Division and elected Member of the national Board of the Italian association of Biomedical Engineering. Since Nov. 2007, she is Rector of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. She was visiting professor at the Technical University of Wien, Austria, with a graduate course entitled Biomechatronics, she is involved in the scientific management of the Italy-Japan joint laboratory for Humanoid Robotics ROBOCASA, Waseda University, Tokyo, and she is Guest Professor at the Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. She has scientific and coordination responsibilities within several research projects, funded under the Sixth and Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (some recent projects are CYBERLEGs, WAY, CogLaboration, Nanobiotouch, Evryon, SmartHand, Nanobiotact, Neurobotics, RobotCub, CyberHand) and under national and regional programmes (some recent projects are OPERA, EARLYRehab, AMulos, OpenHand, Tectum, Rita, Safehand, Neuro-Bike). Since 2004 to 2007, she was the Coordinator of the ARTS Lab of SSSA. In the period 2006-2011 she supervised more than 45 PhD, Master and Bachelor theses and she currently leads a group of about 35 researchers, PhD students and research assistants. She is author of several scientific papers (more than 85 ISI papers and more than 150 papers in referred conference proceedings) and of 12 national and international patents. She served as Editor of at least 4 Special Issues of International Journals, as Member of Committees for at least 13 International Conference organizations, she gave more than 50 invited lectures and plenary speeches to national and international conferences, and she is a recipient of at least 11 awards. She is member and of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) and of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology. She is member of the RAS Technical Committee “Micro/Nano Robotics and Automation”. Her research interests are in ambient assisted living, technical aids, biorobotics, rehabilitation engineering, bionics, cybernetic hands, humanoid robotics, systems for functional replacements and augmentation, biomechatronic interfaces, tactile sensors, artificial skin, harvesting microtechnologies, human touch.
Title: Low-Power Approaches to Wearable Robotics for Minimizing Physical Disability
Abstract: This talk will describe ongoing work in the design and control of prostheses and exoskeletons intended to restore functionality or mobility to individuals with limb loss or neuromuscular impairment. In contrast to previously described approaches involving “fully-powered” wearable devices, this talk will explore opportunities in the development of low-power approaches to the design and control of wearable robotics, where the robotic devices employ semi-powered and/or modulated-passive behaviors that function in combination with power from the user in an effort to provide assistive functionality in a lower-weight and/or more compact package relative to fully-powered approaches. Such devices do not replace or displace fully-powered approaches, but offer a complement to them along the continuum of care that perhaps trades range of functionality for smaller size and lower weight.
Short CV: Michael Goldfarb received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 1988, and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1992 and 1994, respectively.
Since 1994, he has been with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, where he is currently the H. Fort Flowers Professor. His research interests include the design and control of advanced upper and lower extremity prostheses, and gait restoration for spinal cord injured persons.
Title: Optimization-based analysis and design of exoskeletons, prostheses and assistive devices
Katja Mombaur is a full professor at the Institute of Computer Engineering (ZITI) of Heidelberg University and head of the Optimization in Robotics & Biomechanics (ORB) group as well as the Robotics Lab. She holds a diploma degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Stuttgart and a Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from Heidelberg University. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the Robotics Lab at Seoul National University, South Korea. She also spent two years as a visiting researcher in the Robotics department of LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse. Katja Mombaur is coordinator of the newly founded Heidelberg Center for Motion Research. She also is PI in the European H2020 project SPEXOR and the Graduate School HGS MathComp as well as in several national projects. Until recently, she has coordinated the EU FP7 project KoroiBot and was PI in the EU projects MOBOT and ECHORD–GOP. She is founding chair of the IEEE RAS technical committee Model-based optimization for robotics. Her research focuses on understanding human movement and using this knowledge to improve motions of humanoid robots and in the interactions of humans with exoskeletons, prostheses and external physical devices. Her particular interest is on dynamic motions such as walking, running, and other kinds of motions in sports, as well as motions of daily life. She and her team use and develop dynamic models and optimization methods for motion studies, based on the assumption that human movement is optimal. In this context they are also interested in inverse optimal control which can determine what a human is optimizing in a given situation.
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Title: Enhancing Human Performance with Wearable Haptics
Abstract: Haptic feedback has long been known to improve human performance during teleoperation tasks, where an individual can intuitively control a remote robot with visual and tactile feedback. With increasingly mobile sensing and actuation technologies, wearable haptics offer new opportunities for enhancing human performance outside of a typical laboratory setting. This talk will describe a number of different haptic feedback modalities, including kinesthetic feedback, vibration, and skin stretch, that can be embedded in wearable systems and integrated with robotic devices. A number of application domains will be discussed that highlight the potential for wearable haptics to restore lost sensory function, promote recovery from injury, and enhance human capabilities through novel training methods.
Short CV: Marcia O’Malley received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in 1996, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1999 and 2001, respectively. She is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Computer Science at Rice University and directs the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at both Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Additionally, she is the Director of Rehabilitation Engineering at TIRR-Memorial Hermann Hospital, and is a co-founder of Houston Medical Robotics, Inc. Her research addresses issues that arise when humans physically interact with robotic systems, with a focus on training and rehabilitation in virtual environments. In 2008, she received the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice University. O’Malley is a 2004 ONR Young Investigator and the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award in 2005. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering
Arizona State University
Title: Sensorimotor hand function: Bridging the gap between control mechanisms and clinical translation
Abstract: The sophistication of the hand’s neuromuscular system, while making it incredibly versatile, also challenges our ability to improve sensorimotor deficits caused by neurodegenerative disease, e.g., stroke, or replace basic function following traumatic injury, e.g., limb loss. Given these challenges, understanding fundamental sensorimotor control mechanisms is critical to optimize translational efforts and clinical outcomes.
Sensorimotor hand function can be described as a multidimensional space where mechanical, neural, and cognitive factors interact to enable a rich repertoire of actions – from skilled manipulation and playing musical instruments, to perceiving properties of our environment through exploratory procedures. Within this repertoire of actions, dexterous object manipulation is a hallmark of human evolution. Co-adaptation of anatomical features and sensorimotor control mechanisms have made dexterous manipulation an effective means of interacting with the environment. Humans’ ability to perform dexterous manipulation has also inspired research efforts aiming at building dexterous robotic and prosthetic hands, and devices for rehabilitation of hand function.
My laboratory strives to bridge basic and applied research on hand function by investigating mechanisms underlying grasping and dexterous manipulation, and developing experimental approaches to improve sensorimotor function. In my presentation, I will review insights obtained from research on control of the hand’s multiple degrees of freedom, interaction between feedback and feedforward force control mechanisms, and neural constraints on learning and transfer of dexterous manipulation. This work will be discussed in the context of clinical applications with emphasis on prosthetics, brain-machine interfaces, enhancement of sensorimotor learning processes through non-invasive neuromodulation, and directions for future research.
Short CV: Marco Santello received a Bachelor in Kinesiology from the University of L’Aquila, Italy, in 1990 and a Doctoral degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Birmingham (U.K.) in 1995. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Physiology (now Neuroscience) at the University of Minnesota, he joined the Department of Kinesiology at Arizona State University (ASU) (1999-2010). He is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director, and Harrington Endowed Chair at the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. His main research interests are motor control, learning, haptics, and multisensory integration. His Neural Control of Movment laboratory uses complementary research approaches, ranging from non-invasive neuromodulation transcranial magnetic stimulation to motion tracking, electroencephalography, and virtual reality environments. His work (100+ publications) has been published in neuroscience and engineering journals, and has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, DARPA, the Whitaker Foundation, The Mayo Clinic, and Google. He has served as grant reviewer for US and European funding agencies, Associate Editor for Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, and member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Assistive, Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Technologies. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Society of Neural Control of Movement, and IEEE.
GSK Chair in Neuroscience
Centre for Neuroscience Studies
Title: Potential of Robotic Technology to Assess Brain Function and Dysfunction
Abstract: Clinical assessment plays a crucial role in all facets of patient care, from diagnosing the specific disease or injury, to management and monitoring of rehabilitation strategies to ameliorate dysfunction. Most assessment scales for sensorimotor function are subjective in nature with relatively coarse rating systems, reflecting that it is difficult for even experienced observers to discriminate consistently small changes in performance using only the naked eye. Our general hypothesis is that robotic technologies can provide an objective approach to quantify sensory, motor and cognitive impairments. We developed a robotic device called KINARM, an exoskeleton robot that is attached to the arm and permits movements at the shoulder and elbow joints in the horizontal plane. The system includes two KINARM robots to assess each arm, and an integrated virtual reality system that projects objects onto the horizontal workspace. We have also developed other robotic platforms for clinical assessment including end-point robots that can be grasped by the subjects, and systems that can be used while standing to assess coordination between voluntary control of the arms and whole-body balance control. Eye-tracking technologies can also be integrated into the systems to quantify oculomotor function and eye-hand coordination. Integral to our approach is a suite of behavioural tasks to quantify sensory, motor and cognitive impairments including automated scoring systems to compare subject performance to healthy controls considering factors such as age, sex and handedness. These platforms are being used to quantify impairments in many disorders/injuries including stroke, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, transient ischemic attack, migraine, concussion, and assess brain function in non-primary neurological disorders including cardiac arrest, pre- and post-operative assessments and kidney failure.
Short CV: His research focuses on how different regions of the brain are involved in motor control and learning. He has developed a robotic device called KINARM that can both sense and perturb planar arm movements. One of his research labs examines neural activity in different brain regions of non-human primates during motor behavior. A second lab explores human motor performance and learning. A third lab located at St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital is used to quantify sensorimotor impairments in stroke and other neurological disorders.
University of Twente
Title: Human Inspired Control of Exoskeletons
Prof. Dr. ir. Herman van der Kooij, chairs the BioMechatronics group of more than 20 people and is vice head of the department of Biomechanical Engineering in that employs more than sixty people. He received his Phd with honors (cum laude) in 2000 and is professor in Biomechatronics and Rehabilitation Technology at the Department of Biomechanical Engineering at the University of Twente (0.8 fte), and Delft University of Technology (0.2fte), the Netherlands. His expertise and interests are in the field of human motor control, adaptation, and learning, rehabilitation and wearable robots, diagnostic, and assistive robotics, virtual reality, rehabilitation medicine, and neuro computational modeling. He has published over 200 publications in the area of biomechatronics and human motor control. He is frequently invited as (keynote) speaker at international conferences.
He was awarded the prestigious Dutch VIDI and VICI personnel grants in 2001 and 2015 respectively. He is associate editor of IEEE TBME and IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, member of IEEE EMBS technical committee of Biorobotics and of the advisory board of the IEEE conference BIOROB, chair of IEEE BIOROB2018, and was member of numerous scientific program committees in the field of rehabilitation robotics, bio robotics, and assistive devices. He participated in seven EU projects and was the coordinator of the European FP7 project Symbitron. Currently he coordinates the national program Wearable Robotics and the national 4TU Soft Robotics program.