Neuro Robotics

 

The dream: to develop wearable robots allowing the human-robot symbiosis
Symbiosis: “a close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member”  (American Heritage Dictionary). 
The robot becomes a physical, mechanical agent which actively supports (healthy, elderly and disabled) people in performing activities of daily living

Is “physical” human-exoskeleton symbiosis doable?
In 1960s, in Man-Computer symbiosis , J.C.R. Licklider formulated a vision of human-computer symbiosis in which computers and humans would become fluidly interdependent and share goals. In 2010s, in many tasks, human and computer share goals and are interdependent

The method
The neuro-robotics paradigm is a design approach mainly aimed at the fusion of neuroscience and robotics to design and develop advanced robotic devices for the rehabilitation of the human upper and lower limbs. We develop robotic models (physical platforms) for the investigation of neuroscience theories - in this case, the robot is the object itself of the investigation - and we exploit results of the neuroscience investigation to design and develop robotic systems.

 

Research topics

 

Biomechatronic hands

 

● Robotic hands able to perform dexterous actions and sense objects
● Use of biological signals for the physiological control of prehension
● Development of intuitive sensory feedback strategies and devices
● Investigation of the feeling of body-ownership with advanced prostheses

 

 


Wearable assistive machines
 

● Wearable active orthoses for assistance and rehabilitation
● Non-invasive human-machine interfaces
● Wearable sensors

 


 

Artificial sense of touch

● Biomimetic fingertip and roughness discrimination
● Neuro-inspired processing
● Zero-power tactile sensing

 


 

Rehabilitation robotics and Tele-rehabilitation

● Upper-limb robot-assisted rehabilitation
● Locomotion robot-assisted rehabilitation
● Respiratory tele-rehabilitation and tele-monitoring

Scientific collaboration with Auxilium Vitae Rehabilitation Centre in Volterra (Italy)