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NAKFI Smart Prosthetics Grant Leads to $1.2 Million in NSF Funding

The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) Smart Prosthetics Grant, Feedback Control for Smart Prosthetics: An Integrated Electrophysiological and Near-Infrared Methodology, has led led to the award (HCC: Medium: Collaborative Research: Improved Control and Sensory Feedback for Neuroprosthetics) of a $1.2 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This work has also been highlighted by NSF in its Discoveries Section, Discovery: Technology May Soon Turn Thoughts Into Action (http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?org=NSF&cntn_id=121203&preview=false). The investigators for this grant include José Contreras-Vidal (University of Maryland), Bent Gillespie (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Marcia O'Malley (Rice University), and Patricia Shewokis (Drexel University).


In 2007, R. Brent Gillespie, José ‘Pepe’ L. Contreras-Vidal, Marcia K. O’Malley and Patricia A. Shewokis were awarded a $75,000 NAKFI Smart Prosthetics grant for their proposal titled Feedback Control for Smart Prosthetics: An Integrated Electrophysiological and Near-Infrared Methodology.  This project has now led to a $1.2 million HCC: Medium: Collaborative Research: Improved Control and Sensory Feedback for Nueroprosthetics grant by the National Science Foundation.  Building on their prior work this is a four year project to build prosthetic limbs that amputees may directly control with their brains and that will allow them to feel what they touch.


Dr.  Gillespie is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  His research is in the area of haptic interface, where he applies techniques from multibody dynamics, nonlinear controls, and robotics.   For more information regarding Dr. Gillespie and his research please visit his webpage.

 







Dr. Contreras-Vidal is Associate Professor of Kinesiology,  Bioengineeringand Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Dr. Contreras-Vidal's research program integrates behavioral, neuroimaging, and computational neuroscience methods to study the neural mechanisms and computational principles underlying human adaptive cognitive-motor behavior. His translational research focuses on the development of noninvasive brain-machine interfaces to robotic systems for restoration of upper and lower limb motor function. For more information about Dr. Contreras-Vidal or his research please visit his webpage.

 

Dr. O’Malley is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Rice University, and is a co-founder of Houston Medical Robotics. She holds a joint appointment in Computer Science at Rice, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine. At Rice, her research interests focus on the issues that arise when humans physically interact with robotic systems. One thrust of her lab is the design of haptic feedback and shared control between robotic devices and their human users for training and rehabilitation in virtual environments.  For more information about Dr. O’Malley or her research please visit her webpage.



Dr. Shewokis is a tenured Professor, Movement Scientist andBiostatistician in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University and she has a joint appointment in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (BIOMED).  For more information about Dr. Shewokis please visit her faculty webpage.

 


For more information on this award please visit the “Discoveries” section of the National Science Foundation website by clicking here or copying the following URL into your browser http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121203.