Neurobionics Lab

2023 Year in Review

Published on December 14, 2023

The Lab has been busy since our last update!

Congratulations to Dr. Yves Nazon who successfully defended his PhD this month! Great work Yves; we will miss you!

MS student Nicholas Pett was awarded the 2023 University of Michigan Mirsky Fellowship for outstanding research and academic achievement by a Mechanical Engineering Master’s student. Congratulations Nicholas!

PhD student Emily Bywater’s NIH NSRA F31 fellowship application scored in the 13th percentile. Congratulations Emily!

The Lab attended IROS 2023 in Detroit this October. Several members presented their work:
Emily Bywater presented her work titled ‘Investigations into Customizing Bilateral Ankle Exoskeletons to Increase Vertical Jumping Performance’, Nundini Rawal presented her work titled ‘A Sensitivity Analysis of an Economic Value Metric for Quantifying the Success of Lower-Limb Exoskeletons and Their Assistance’, Dr. Leo Medrano (former Neurobionics member) presented his work titled ‘Real-Time Gait Phase and Task Estimation for Controlling a Powered Ankle Exoskeleton on Extremely Uneven Terrain’. More information about the conference presentations and publications can be found here.

PhD student Nikko Van Crey was awarded second place in the Best Student Paper awards at ICORR 2023 in Singapore this September, with his submission titled ‘Design of a Quasi-Passive Ankle-Foot Orthosis with Customizable, Variable Stiffness’. Congratulations, Nikko!

PhD student Zach Bons was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award this fall through summer 2026. His paper titled ‘A Compact, Two-Part Torsion Spring Architecture’ was a finalist for Best Paper in Mechanisms and Design at ICRA 2023. Congratulations Zach!

We would like to welcome Nana Porter-Honicky, Ellie Wilson, and Anushka Rathi as the Lab’s newest PhD students, who joined in August 2023. Lab MS student Nundini Rawal is also continuing her studies as a PhD student as of fall 2023.

Dr. Rouse was awarded the Henry Russel Award in July 2023, which is the University of Michigan’s highest honor for early or mid-career faculty members. You can read the press release here. Congratulations, Dr. Rouse!

This June, PhD students Emily Bywater and Riley Pieper and MS students Nicholas Pett and Nundini Rawal joined Dr. Rouse at the Summer School on Neurorehabilitation in Baiona, Spain (SSNR 2023) to share their research and host a workshop to demo the Open Source Leg. More information about this program can be found here.

We have two new staff additions to the Lab. Laksh Punith is a postdoctoral researcher who graduated from Georgia Tech, where he obtained his PhD in Robotics working with Greg Sawicki. Emily Klinkman is a research engineer/lab manager with a background in human biomechanics.

Last but certainly not least, the Lab had three grants funded this year:
* NIH R01 Functional Implications of Stroke and Botulinum Neurotoxin on Ankle Stiffness and Viscosity During Gait (Co-Investigator with Dr. Chandramouli Krishnan)
* NIH R01 Controlling Locomotion over Continuously Varying Activities for Agile Powered Prosthetic Legs (Co-Investigator with Dr. Robert Gregg)
* DoD CDMRP Musculoskeletal Injury Risk due to the Prolonged Use of Exoskeleton Boots on Inclined Surfaces MO240001

In 2023, multiple new papers were published–check out our publications here!