Publications by Year: 2018

F. Porciuncula, et al., “Wearable movement sensors for rehabilitation: A focused review of technological and clinical advances,” PM&R, vol. 10, no. 9, pp. S220-232, 2018. PDF
L. Cappello, et al., “Exploiting Textile Mechanical Anisotropy for Fabric-Based Pneumatic Actuators,” Soft Robotics, 2018. PDF Supplementary PDF Video
L. Cappello, et al., “Assisting hand function after spinal cord injury with a fabric-based soft robotic glove,” Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 59, 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition that can dramatically impact hand motor function. Passive and active assistive devices are becoming more commonly used to enhance lost hand strength and dexterity. Soft robotics is an emerging discipline that combines the classical principles of robotics with soft materials and could provide a new class of active assistive devices. Soft robotic assistive devices enable a human-robot interaction facilitated by compliant and light-weight structures. The scope of this work was to demonstrate that a fabric-based soft robotic glove can effectively assist participants affected by spinal cord injury in manipulating objects encountered in daily living.
W. Whyte, et al., “Sustained release of targeted cardiac therapy with a replenishable implantable epicardial reservoir,” Nature Biomedical Engineering, vol. 2, pp. 416-428, 2018. PDF Supplementary PDF
M. A. Horvath, et al., “Towards Alternative Approaches for Coupling of a Soft Robotic Sleeve to the Heart,” Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Efficient coupling of soft robotic cardiac assist devices to the external surface of the heart is crucial to augment cardiac function and represents a hurdle to translation of this technology. In this work, we compare various fixation strategies for local and global coupling of a direct cardiac compression sleeve to the heart. For basal fixation, we find that a sutured Velcro band adheres the strongest to the epicardium. Next, we demonstrate that a mesh-based sleeve coupled to the myocardium improves function in an acute porcine heart failure model. Then, we analyze the biological integration of global interface material candidates (medical mesh and silicone) in a healthy and infarcted murine model and show that a mesh interface yields superior mechanical coupling via pull-off force, histology, and microcomputed tomography. These results can inform the design of a therapeutic approach where a mesh-based soft robotic DCC is implanted, allowed to biologically integrate with the epicardium, and actuated for active assistance at a later timepoint. This strategy may result in more efficient coupling of extracardiac sleeves to heart tissue, and lead to increased augmentation of heart function in end-stage heart failure patients.
C. J. Walsh, “Human-in-the-loop development of soft wearable robots,” Nature Review Materials, vol. 3, pp. 78-80, 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The field of soft wearable robotics offers the opportunity to wear robots like clothes to assist the movement of specific body parts or to endow the body with functionalities. Collaborative efforts of materials, apparel and robotics science have already led to the development of wearable technologies for physical therapy. Optimizing the human–robot system by human-in-the-loop approaches will pave the way for personalized soft wearable robots for a variety of applications.

D. P. Holland, C. J. Walsh, and G. J. Bennett, “A qualitative investigation of design knowledge reuse in project-based mechanical design courses,” European Journal of Engineering Education, pp. 1-16, 2018. Publisher's Version PDF
D. Holland, S. Berndt, M. Herman, and C. Walsh, “Growing the Soft Robotics Community Through Knowledge-Sharing Initiatives,” Soft Robotics, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 119-121, 2018. Publisher's Version PDF
S. Mohammed, et al., “Wearable Robotics for Motion Assistance and Rehabilitation [TC Spotlight],” IEEE Robotics Automation Magazine, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 19-28, 2018. PDF
J. Gafford, H. Aihara, C. Thompson, R. Wood, and C. Walsh, “Distal Proprioceptive Sensor for Motion Feedback in Endoscope-Based Modular Robotic Systems,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 171-178, 2018. PDF
O. Araromi, S. Castellanos, C. Walsh, and R. Wood, “Compliant low profile textile-integrated multi-axis force sensors,” in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 21-25, 2018. PDF
S. Lee, et al., “Autonomous Multi-Joint Soft Exosuit for Assistance with Walking Overground,” in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 21-25, 2018. PDF
J. Kim, et al., “Autonomous and portable soft exosuit for hip extension assistance with online walking and running detection algorithm,” in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 21-25, 2018.
E. Suarez, J. Huaroto, A. Reymundo, D. Holland, C. Walsh, and E. Vela, “A Soft Pneumatic Fabric-Polymer Actuator for Wearable Biomedical Devices: Proof of Concept for Lymphedema Treatment,” in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 21-25, 2018. PDF
C. Payne, et al., “Force Control of Textile-Based Soft Wearable Robots for Mechanotherapy,” in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 21-25, 2018. PDF
J. Bae, et al., “A lightweight and efficient portable soft exosuit for paretic ankle assistance in walking after stroke,” in IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, Australia, May 21-25, 2018. PDF
J. Bae, et al., “Biomechanical mechanisms underlying exosuit-induced improvements in walking economy after stroke,” Journal of Experimental Biology, 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
{Stroke-induced hemiparetic gait is characteristically asymmetric and metabolically expensive. Weakness and impaired control of the paretic ankle contribute to reduced forward propulsion and ground clearance—walking subtasks critical for safe and efficient locomotion. Targeted gait interventions that improve paretic ankle function after stroke are therefore warranted. We have developed textile-based, soft wearable robots that transmit mechanical power generated by off-board or body-worn actuators to the paretic ankle using Bowden cables (soft exosuits) and have demonstrated the exosuits can overcome deficits in paretic limb forward propulsion and ground clearance, ultimately reducing the metabolic cost of hemiparetic walking. This study elucidates the biomechanical mechanisms underlying exosuit-induced reductions in metabolic power. We evaluated the relationships between exosuit-induced changes in the body center of mass (COM) power generated by each limb, individual joint powers, and metabolic power. Compared to walking with an exosuit unpowered, exosuit assistance produced more symmetrical COM power generation during the critical period of the step-to-step transition (22.4±6.4% more symmetric). Changes in individual limb COM power were related to changes in paretic (R2= 0.83
Y. Ding, M. Kim, S. Kuindersma, and C. J. Walsh, “Human-in-the-loop optimization of hip assistance with a soft exosuit during walking,” Science Robotics, vol. 3, no. 15, pp. eaar5438, 2018. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Wearable robotic devices have been shown to substantially reduce the energy expenditure of human walking. However, response variance between participants for fixed control strategies can be high, leading to the hypothesis that individualized controllers could further improve walking economy. Recent studies on human-in-the-loop (HIL) control optimization have elucidated several practical challenges, such as long experimental protocols and low signal-to-noise ratios. Here, we used Bayesian optimization—an algorithm well suited to optimizing noisy performance signals with very limited data—to identify the peak and offset timing of hip extension assistance that minimizes the energy expenditure of walking with a textile-based wearable device. Optimal peak and offset timing were found over an average of 21.4 ± 1.0 min and reduced metabolic cost by 17.4 ± 3.2% compared with walking without the device (mean ± SEM), which represents an improvement of more than 60% on metabolic reduction compared with state-of-the-art devices that only assist hip extension. In addition, our results provide evidence for participant-specific metabolic distributions with respect to peak and offset timing and metabolic landscapes, lending support to the hypothesis that individualized control strategies can offer substantial benefits over fixed control strategies. These results also suggest that this method could have practical impact on improving the performance of wearable robotic devices.
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