Towards Ultrasound Imaging-based Closed-loop Control of Neurorehabilitation

Wearable robots and neuroprosthetic devices are potential technologies for the neurorehabilitation of people affected by spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc. The main philosophy in assistive devices is to design human-in-the-loop control strategies that mimic neurophysiological learning principles. Traditional sensors, such as kinematic sensors, though sufficient to achieve desired kinematic outcomes in closed-loop control, miss out on changes in the human muscle caused by various factors, such as induced fatigue or neural excitation, and cannot thus truly enforce human-in-the-loop control. We have been exploring ultrasound-derived signals as indicators of muscle contractility changes in the closed-loop control of assistive devices and designing new human user-focused control strategies accordingly. In this talk, I will show our recent results on exoskeleton assistance based on ultrasound-derived muscle strain signals during walking with a robotic exoskeleton. We assert that due to ultrasound imaging’s capability to directly and non-invasively visualize the muscle, closed-loop control that leverages this capability will be more effective in achieving intuitive and symbiotic human-in-the-loop control of assistive devices.

Dr. Nitin Sharma

Associate Professor, NC State University Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering on March 2, 2023 at 12:00 PM in MRC 454

Nitin Sharma received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, in 2010. He was an Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. From 2012-2017, he was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018. In 2019, he joined the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University-Raleigh and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His awards include NSF CAREER 2018, IEEE Control Systems Technology Award 2019, and NIBIB Trailblazer Award in 2021.

ASSIST Distinguished Seminar Series

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