Robotics: New Possibilities in Prosthetic Limbs

Advances in robotics technology over the past decade enable some new possibilities in the design and functionality of upper and lower limb prosthetic devices. This talk will discuss such advances in lower and upper limb prosthesis design and control, with emphasis on the functional improvements such new technologies could provide to amputees within the next decade.

Michael Goldfarb received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1988, and a master of science and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and 1994, respectively. In 1994, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he is currently the H. Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Goldfarb directs the Center for Intelligent Mechatronics at Vanderbilt , which is focused on the design and control of electromechanical devices, with particular emphasis on issues at the intersection of design and control. Much of the center’s work is human-centered, including current research in anthropomorphic robotic upper and lower extremity prostheses; dynamic approaches to the control of robot biped locomotion; the use of biologically derived coordination influences for the control of legged locomotion in multi-legged robots; the development of high power-density actuation for human-scale robots; and the development of hybrid-FES systems to restore gait to spinal cord injured individuals.

Contact: Princine Lewis (615) 322-NEWS