Lab News

August 20, 2019 – New Research Grant from the NSF through the National Robotics Initiative!

We have received a new $1.2M grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) entitled “Muscle Ultrasound Sensing for Intuitive Control of Robotic Leg Prostheses”. The grant has been awarded through the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) and is a collaborative effort with Drs. Nicholas Fey and Kenneth Hoyt at the University of Texas at Dallas.  The goal of this project is to make powered knee and ankle prostheses more intuitive and robust to use in real-world settings. To this end, we will integrate muscle ultrasound sensing in the adaptive control of our lightweight robotic prosthesis.

August 13, 2019 – Dante Archangeli and Grace Hunt win COE Fellowships and join the Bionic Engineering Lab

Dante Archangeli (Ph.D. student, College of Engineering Fellowship Awardee) and Grace Hunt (Ph.D. student, Campbell Fellowship Awardee) join the Bionic Engineering Lab to work on new projects related to the design and control of wearable robotic devices.

August  2, 2019 – Andy Gunnell wins UROP Scholarship

Congratulations to Andy Gunnell (undergraduate BE Lab member) for winning the UROP scholarship with a project titled: “Gait and balance analysis of amputees using an advanced prosthetic leg”.

July 3, 2019 – New paper published in the IEEE Sensors Journal

Our paper entitled “ Instrumented Pyramid Adapter for Amputee Gait Analysis and Powered Prosthesis Control” was published in the IEEE Sensors Journal. The instrumented pyramid can accurately measure up to 120Nm of torque and 2500N of force. It also integrates a 9-axis IMU to measure the orientation of the prosthesis in space and its accelerations. The sensor weighs only 150g including the electronic boards. The manuscript describing this work is available online at this link. The video accompanying the paper can be found here.

June 25, 2019 – Marshall Ishmael and Sarah Hood presenting at ICORR 2019 during the RehabWeek 2019

Marshall Ishmael will present our preliminary work on Hope, our lightweight powered hip exoskeleton, at ICORR 2019 in Toronto, Canada. His podium presentation will focus on the design of this novel exoskeleton and its preliminary validation for walking assistance in individuals with above-knee amputations. A video of the experiments can be found here. Sarah Hood will present the results of our pilot studies using Romeo and Juliet, our powered ankle and knee prosthesis, with limited community ambulators. For the first time, this study shows that a powered prosthesis has the potential to improve ambulation in elderly and dysvascular above-knee amputees. A video of the experiments can be found here.

May 20, 2019 – Minh Tran presenting at ICRA 2019

Minh Tran will present at ICRA 2019 on Juliet, our lightweight powered knee prosthesis. The presentation will focus on the modeling, implementation, and testing of the actively variable transmission system, which is the key technology enabling Juliet to match, for the first time, the weight of passive knee prostheses. The paper is available online at this link. The video submission can be found here.

May 12, 2019 – Justin Francis wins UROP Scholarship

Congratulations to Justin Francis (undergraduate BE Lab member) for winning the UROP scholarship with a project titled: “Power Polycentric Ankle”.

April 16, 2019 – Our research featured in the Spring Newsletter of the ME Department

Our research was on the cover of the Spring Newsletter of the Mechanical Engineering Newsletter. Find more info at this link.

March 27, 2019 – Invited Talk at WeraRAcon 2019

Dr. Lenzi will present on the design of the Utah Lightweight Leg and its preliminary validation with individuals with above-knee amputations at the Annual Conference of the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRAcom 19). The agenda of the meeting can be found at this link.

February 12, 2019 – New paper published in the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics

Our paper entitled “Design, Development, and Validation of a Lightweight Non-backdrivable Robotic Ankle Prosthesis” was published in the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. The manuscript preprint is available online at this link. The video accompanying the paper can be found here.

January 10, 2019 – New paper published in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters

Our paper entitled “A Lightweight, Efficient Fully-Powered Knee Prosthesis with Actively Variable Transmission” and led by Minh Tran was published in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. The manuscript is available online at this link. The video accompanying the paper can be found here.

December 11, 2018 – Andy Gunnell wins UROP Scholarship

Congratulations to Andy Gunnell (undergraduate BE Lab member) for winning the UROP scholarship with a project titled: “Gait and balance analysis of amputees using an advanced prosthetic leg”.

October 24, 2018 – Hosting  SKY’S THE LIMB-IT  support group

We are excited to host SKY’S THE LIMB-IT,  a support group helping amputees at any stage of their recovery adjust to living with an amputation and designed for people with amputations, family members, and caregivers. The support group meets monthly and is organized by Spencer Thompson from the amputee program at Sugar House Rehabilitation Clinic. Find more info about the meeting on this flyer.

October 4, 2018 – Our bionic leg research featured in PC Magazine

Our research on the bionic leg prosthesis was featured in a PC Magazine story entitled, “How Advanced Prosthetics Turned This Man Into an ‘Emerging Cyborg.” by  S. C. Stuart. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more research videos!

September 22, 2018 –  Hosting Professor Maurizio Porfiri from NYU

NYU Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Maurizio Porfiri will visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering and give a talk for our Distinguished Seminar Series. More details on the talk can be found here.

July 25, 2018 – Paper published in The International Journal of Robotics Research

Our paper entitled “Design, development, and testing of a lightweight hybrid robotic knee prosthesis” is now published in The International Journal of Robotics Research. The manuscript is available online at this link. More info on this project can be found here.

June 26, 2018 – Utah ExoKnee showcased at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition

The Utah ExoKnee was among the few undergraduate engineering projects to be selected for the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference and Expositions. ASEE is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing prime networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders such.

May 10, 2018 – Accepting applications for a paid summer internship in collaboration with Ottobock USA

Ottobock USA will sponsor a summer internship in collaboration with the Bionic Engineering Lab. This position is split time between the Ottobock SLC R&D facility and the Bionic Engineering Lab at the UofU. This unique opportunity provides the experience of working for the world leader in prosthetics coupled with cutting-edge academic research. More info and how to apply can be found here.

April 19, 2018 – Utah ExoKnee presented at Spring 2018 Design Day

Undergrad BELab members Abby, Nate, Polly, and Sergei will present and demonstrate the Utah ExoKnee, a powered exoskeleton for assistance and rehabilitation. Check it out here.

April 6, 2018  –  Paper accepted to EMBC’18!

Our paper entitled “Preliminary analysis of positive knee energy injection in a transfemoral amputee walking with a powered prosthesis” was accepted to the 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC’18) to be held at the Honolulu, HI, USA, July 17-21, 2018. Congrats Sarah!

March 22, 2018 – Invited Talk at WeraRAcon 18

Dr. Lenzi will present our ongoing research on the design and control of lightweight robotic prostheses for individuals with lower-limb amputations at the Annual Conference of the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRAcom 18). The invited talk will be part of the Breakout Session 8, Medical/Rehabilitation( Prosthetics).

January 16, 2018 – Research featured in the O&P Almanac

Our research was featured in the January issue of the Orthotic and Prosthetics Almanac of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association. You can read the article here.

January 1, 2018 – Our YouTube Channel is online!

Our YouTube Channel is online! Check out our latest research videos here.

December 1, 2017 –  Hosting Professor Kevin Lynch from Northwestern University

Neuroscience and Robotics Lab Professor Kevin Lynch will visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering and give a talk for our Distinguished Seminar Series. More details on the talk can be found here.

November 27, 2017 – Invited Seminar at Vanderbilt University

Dr. Lenzi will present our ongoing research on the design and control of lightweight robotic prostheses for individuals with lower-limb amputations at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Vanderbilt University on November 27, 2017.

October 30, 2017 – New Research Grant from the Department of the Defense!!!

Dr. Lenzi (PI) receives a new $985K grant from the Department of the Defense titled “Motorized Hip Orthoses to Improve the Gait Ability of Transfemoral Amputees”. The grant has been awarded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, which aims to address the most significant gaps in care for leading burden of injury and loss of fitness for military duty by funding innovative, high-impact, clinically relevant research to advance optimal treatment and rehabilitation from musculoskeletal injuries sustained during combat and combat-related activities. See the news on O&P EDGE.

August 21, 2017 – Sarah Hood and Minh Tran join the Bionic Engineering Lab

Sarah Hood (PhD student) and Minh Tran (PhD student) join the Bionic Engineering Lab. Their bio and project info will be posted soon!

July 5, 2017 –  Sharath Patlolla joins the Bionic Engineering Lab

Sharath Patlolla, BS student in Mechanical Engineering at BTIS Pilani (India), joins the Bionic Engineering lab for his bachelor thesis. Sharath will work on inertial measurement units and dead reckoning algorithms applied to smart prosthesis control and gait analysis.

June 15, 2017  –  Paper accepted to IROS 2017!

Our paper entitled “Design, Development, and Bench-top Testing of a Powered Polycentric Ankle Prosthesis” was accepted to the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems that will be held in Vancouver on September 24–28, 2017. PDF and video will be posted soon!

May 17, 2017 –  Ayana Beatty joins the Bionic Engineering Lab

Ayana Beatty, BS student in mechanical engineering and electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, joins the Bionic Engineering Lab as a Student Intern. Ayana’s work will support the ongoing research activities on the Powered Polycentric Ankle.

May 1, 2017 –  Sergei Sarkisian joins the Bionic Engineering Lab

Sergei Sarkisian (ME student) joins the Bionic Engineering Lab as an undergraduate research assistant. Sergei will work on the design of a new powered exoskeleton.

April 25, 2017  –  Paper accepted to ICORR 2017!

Our paper entitled “A Lightweight Robotic Ankle Prosthesis with Non-backdrivable Cam-based Transmission” was accepted to the 15th IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR 2017) that will be held in London on July 17-20. PDF and video will be posted soon!

April 19, 2017 –  Invited Talk at WearRAcon 17

Dr. Lenzi will give an invited talk at the second annual conference of the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRA) that will take place on April 19 – 21, 2017 at the HYATT REGENCY PHOENIX. The invited talk will be part of the Breakout Session 6, Modular Wearable Robotics, and will focus on our research on lightweight powered prosthesis design.

April 7, 2017 –  Hosting Professor Neville Hogan from MIT

MIT Mechanical Engineering & Brain & Cognitive Sciences Professor Neville Hogan will visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering and give a talk for our Distinguished Seminar Series. More details on the talk can be found here.

March 3, 2017 –  Selected for podium presentation at Design of Medical Devices Conference (DMD 2017)

Our submission entitled “Hybrid Actuation Systems for Lightweight Transfemoral Prostheses” was among the few contributions selected for podium presentation at the Design of Medical Devices Conference (DMD 2017) that will take place in Minneapolis, MN, on April 10-13, 2017.

January 25, 2017 –  Paper accepted to ICRA 2017!

Our paper entitled “Actively Variable Transmission for Robotic Knee Prostheses” was accepted to ICRA 2017. PDF and video will be posted soon!

January 6, 2017 –  Sarvenaz Chaeibakhsh, Lukas Gabert, and Marshall Ishmael join the Bionic Engineering Lab

Lukas Gabert (MS student), Marshall Ishmael (PhD student), and Sarvenaz Chaeibakhsh (PhD student) join the Bionic Engineering Lab. Find more info on their projects and bios here.

January 1, 2017 –  University of Utah Welcome New Assistant Professor Tommaso Lenzi

The University of Utah’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is pleased to announce the arrival of assistant professor Tommaso Lenzi. Check out Tommaso’s interview on the Department of Mechanical Engineering website.