We are developing robots and smart medical devices that are specifically intended for interacting and cooperating with humans. Our work is accomplished through new approaches to design and fabrication of actuation and sensing components (e.g. using soft materials) in addition to the development of appropriate control strategies for systems that integrate these components. Current research themes include developing soft wearable robots and characterizing their performance through biomechanical and physiological studies. We are also working on the modeling and design of fluidic-based soft robotics and applying emerging meso-scale manufacturing approaches to the design of smart medical tools for the minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment of disease.
We are developing next generation soft wearable robots that use innovative textiles to provide a more conformal, unobtrusive and compliant means to interface to the human body. These robots will augment the capabilities of healthy individuals (e.g. improved walking efficiency) in addition to assisting those with muscle weakness or patients who suffer from physical or neurological disorders.
Our soft robotics research focuses on new design, fabrication, modeling, and control approaches for soft actuators, sensors, and integrated robotic systems. Among other projects, we are using soft fluidic actuators consisting of elastomeric matrices with embedded flexible materials (e.g. cloth, paper, fiber, particles) to develop a modular, safe, portable, consumable, at-home hand rehabilitation and assistive device that aims to improve patient outcomes.
We are developing advanced manufacturing approaches for mm-scale devices with integrated actuation and sensing for minimally invasive procedures. These include a versatile fabrication process, based on printed circuit board manufacturing techniques, to create monolithic, kinematically complex, three-dimensional machines in parallel at the millimeter to centimeter scales.