Powered prostheses and orthoses/exosekeletons, biological signal processing, machine learning and pattern recognition, human subject research, biomechanics, myoelectric (EMG) signal
Dr. Young's research is focused on developing control systems to improve prosthetic and orthotic systems. His research is aimed at developing clinically translatable research that can be deployed on research and commercial systems in the near future. Some of the interesting research questions are how to successfully extract user intent from human subjects and how to use these signals to allow for accurate intent identification. Once the user intent is identified, smart control systems are needed to maximally enable individuals to accomplish useful tasks. For lower limb devices, these tasks might include standing from a seated position, walking, or climbing a stair. We hope to improve clinically relevant measures with powered mechatronic devices, including reducing metabolic cost, improving biomechanics and decreasing the time required to perform daily tasks of living.
Dr. Hammond’s research focuses on the design and control of adaptive robotic manipulation (ARM) systems. This class of devices exemplified by kinematic structures, actuation topologies, and sensing and control strategies that make them particularly well-suited to operating in unstructured, dynamically varying environments - specifically those involving cooperative interactions with humans. The ARM device design process uses an amalgamation of bioinspiration, computational modeling and optimization, and advanced rapid prototyping techniques to generate manipulation solutions which are functionally robust and versatile, but which may take completely non-biomorphic (xenomorphic) forms. This design process removes human intuition from the design loop and, instead, leverages computational methods to map salient characteristics of biological manipulation and perception onto a vast robotics design space. Areas of interest for ARM research include kinematically redundant industrial manipulation, wearable robotic devices for human augmentation, haptic-enabled teleoperative robotic microsurgery, and autonomous soft robotic platforms.