Rehabilitation Robotics

Rehabilitation robotics aims at taking advantage of robotic technology for rehabilitation treatment of the people with neurological disorders and physical impairments. From a clinical point of view there is the need of a new generation of rehabilitation robots and clinical protocols that will be more effective in helping patients.

Our objective is to study and develop enabling technologies for novel rehabilitation robots which exhibits compliant behavior and patient-adaptation. Also we think that future robots will be low cost and mobile. In fact traditional rehabilitation robots are very complex system, they are usually expensive and cumbersome machines and only large therapeutic centers can afford their cost and storage. Instead we focus on simpler and mobile systems at affordable price that can be even be used at home or in small centers.

Research topics:

  • Active robotic devices based on compliant principles and minimal actuation, see our prototype.
  • Locomotion controllers of passive dynamic walkers
  • Force and impedance control of stiff and soft robots, see our control library

Altair research projects in this field: ARGO

Selected Publications

A. Calanca, R. Muradore, and P. Fiorini, “A Review of Algorithms for Compliant Control of Stiff and Fixed Compliance Robots,” IEEE Trans. Mechatronics, vol. Pre-print, 2014.

A. Calanca, R. Muradore, and P. Fiorini, “Passive Impedance Control of Series Elastic Actuators: Overcoming the Physical Spring Stiffness,” Submitt. to RA Mag.

A. Calanca, R. Muradore, and P. Fiorini, “Passivity of Human-Adaptive Control of Elastic Actuators,” Submitt. to IEEE Trans. Robot.

A. Calanca and P. Fiorini, “Human-Adaptive Control of Series Elastic Actuators,” Robotica, vol. 2, no. 08, pp. 1301–1316, 2014.

A. Calanca and P. Fiorini, “On The Role of Compliance In Force Control,” in International Conference on intelligent Autonomous Systems IAS-13, 2014.

A. Calanca, L. Capisani, and P. Fiorini, “Robust Force Control of Series Elastic Actuators,” Actuators, Spec. Issue Soft Actuators, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 182–204, 2014.

A. Calanca, S. Piazza, and P. Fiorini, “A motor learning oriented, compliant and mobile Gait Orthosis,” Appl. Bionics Biomech., vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 15–27, 2012.

N. Smania, M. Gandolfi, V. Marconi, A. Calanca, C. Geroin, S. Piazza, P. Bonetti, P. Fiorini, A. Cosentino, C. Capelli, D. Conte, M. Bendinelli, D. Munari, P. Ianes, A. Fiaschi, and A. Picelli, “Applicability of a new robotic walking aid in a patient with cerebral palsy,” Eur. J. Phys. Rehabil. Med., vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 47–53, 2012.