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[stanfordrobotics] ME Seminar: Steve Collins Thu, 2/18, 4:30, 530-127 (Robotic prostheses and exoskeletons)

Allison Mariko Okamura aokamura at
Tue Feb 16 12:42:04 PST 2016

Designing robotic prostheses and exoskeletons that improve human mobility

ME228: Dr. Steve Collins, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Thursday, 02/18, 4:30, 530-127
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My central research goal is to develop wearable robotic devices that improve mobility and quality of life, especially for people with disabilities. My laboratory uses three complementary approaches. First, we develop tools to speed and systematize the design of prostheses and exoskeletons. Humans are complex, limiting the effectiveness of typical robotics design methods, so we have developed a new approach that utilizes versatile, laboratory-based emulator systems. Second, we leverage our emulators in basic scientific experiments aimed at discovering and characterizing new methods of assistance. Our versatile hardware allows rapid implementation of new ideas, controlled characterization of human response to device functionality, and new approaches to design and prescription involving online adaptation and patient-specific device optimization. Finally, we translate successful approaches into energy-efficient mobile devices. For example, we recently demonstrated an ankle exoskeleton that uses no energy itself yet reduces the metabolic energy cost of human walking. We are currently developing actuators based on electrostatic adhesion that are both energy efficient and controllable, which will enable new types of high-performance wearable robots.

Steven H. Collins is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where he directs the Experimental Biomechatronics Laboratory and teaches courses on Robotics and Design. He received his B.S. from Cornell University in 2002 and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2008, and performed postdoctoral research at T.U. Delft. He has published in Science and Nature. He is a member of the scientific board of Dynamic Walking, a recipient of the ASB Young Scientist Award, an ICRA Best Medical Devices Paper winner, and was recently voted Mechanical Engineering Professor of the Year.
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