Research

Research outline

I currently am Professor of Healthcare Technology at Loughborough University, UK, in the School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering (EESE), working on sensors for healthcare in general sense.

My research activities have always been centred on the understanding of the human being. My strong belief, in fact, is that a good research on humanoid robotics (partner robots, assistive technologies, and so on) could not leave out of consideration a better and deeper understanding of the human being and its capabilities, in particular for what concerns motion control in high dexterous tasks in a wide range of applications, such as walking or surgery.

My research goal has been the quantification of the capabilities of human beings in different situations, such as training for laparoscopic surgery, mastication analysis, gait analysis in rehabilitation, as well as human-robot emotional and musical interaction, just to mention a few, and the application of these findings for developing more advanced robots. In particular I focused my attention on the development of extremely small and very accurate motion sensors (inertial measurement units, electromyography sensors, and so on), much less visible and much less obtrusive than the current measuring systems. In addition, I also developed several data processing and analysis methodologies to extract useful information from the raw data flow.

The combination of advanced hardware with advanced software is making it possible to make measurements in situations where it was very difficult to measure before. For example, it allows us to achieve a better and objective understanding of the skills of the trainee, of the effectiveness of the training exercise, to quantify the movements during daily life, or to produce a meaningful interaction with the advanced robots available in the labs. Another example is that this combination allows us to understand the effects of the deformation of the mechanical structures of the robots while walking, thus making it possible for a real-time compensation.


Human performance analysis

Hardware

  • WB Inertial Measurement Unit Series
  • Wireless Surface EMG sensor

Software

  • Motion Reconstruction 
  • Magnetic Calibration 
  • Wavelet-Based EMG Denoising

Applications

  • Oral rehabilitation 
  • Gait analysis


Humanoid robotics

Artificial Hands

  • WB Inertial Measurement Unit Series
  • Wireless Surface EMG sensor

Human-Robot interaction

  • Emotion expression humanoid robot WE series
  • Whole-body emotion expression humanoid robot KOBIAN
  • Flute robot WF series
  • Sax Robot WS series

Humanoid robotics

  • Deformation compensation


Research Grants

For a list of the current and past research grants, please check this page

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