Wearable Neuro-robotics

Hybrid walking assistance: evaluation of mechanical and NMES assisted walking Background

Project description: Lightweight lower limb exoskeletons can provide walk assistance to elderly as well as to weak subjects with asymmetric gait patterns. However commensalistic exoskeletons are designed as a tradeoff between wearability, usage comfort, energetic autonomy, and minimum user’s locomotion capabilities. The Active Pelvis Orthosis provides stride-by-stride active hip assistance. NMES can provide supplemental assistance to knee and ankle motion without requiring additional mechanical constraining and with a limited weight overhead.

Activities: development and testing of hybrid control strategies for overground walking, with NMES acting as a perceptual cue or as means of active swing assistance. Comparative evaluation of different assistive strategies on healthy subjects.

 

Implementation of control strategies

Requirements: comfort in programming with Matlab and Labview. Basic understanding of control theory. Fast prototyping know-how is a plus.

Best for (semester or master project): This activity is suitable for a master project. Additional activities with a shorter time frame are also available.

Contact: andrea.crema@epfl.ch

Efficacy analysis of grasp rehabilitation in task-based exercises

Background: RETRAINER S2* exploits a wearable NMES system with multiple arrays of electrodes for hand rehabilitation facilitating the grasping function. Neuromuscular Electrical stimulation (NMES) is delivered to forearm muscles in a controlled manner, to train and improve residual grasp functionality. Interactive objects provide contextual information to the system and allow triggering external assistance.

Project description: A multicentric interventional study is recruiting patients for the S2 wearable and verifying its efficacy on a sub-acute stroke population**.

Activities: This project focuses on the analysis of the clinical data related to the motor assessment of the patients throughout the intervention, and on the analysis of the instrumental reliability and usability of the device with operators with different skill levels.

Requirements: excel, comfort in programming with Matlab

Best for (semester or master project): This activity is suitable for a master project. Additional activities with a shorter time frame are also available.

Contact: andrea.crema@epfl.ch

 

References (papers):

http://www.retrainer.eu/home.php

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03199833

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5220221/ Eur J Transl Myol. 2016 Dec 15; 26(4): 6369