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BME Seminar Series: “Empowering Ability Through Wearable Robotics” by Jonathan Realmuto, PhD, Faculty Candidate

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Floor/Room #: 


Jonathan Realmuto, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Southern California


Abstract:   Wearable robots offer a tremendous opportunity to enhance the quality of life for individuals with mobility impairments. Examples include bionic prostheses for limb replacement after amputation or movement assisting exosuits for people with spinal cord injury. Such technologies restore or supplement motor function through mechanical interactions between human users and body-mounted robots.  However, fundamental challenges that are not encountered in traditional engineered systems limit the capabilities of current devices. For one, the presence of time-varying (personalized) human dynamics and human-robot-environment interactions make robot control challenging. Another issue is the physical embodiment of wearable robots. Strict constraints on acceptable morphology, including the physical human-robot interface, complicate robot design. In this talk, I will highlight my work tackling these challenges. First, I will discuss the development of a fabric-based pneumatic forearm orthosis that can assist in a user’s wrist rotations. I will highlight design and fabrication techniques, and discuss preliminary work on a reflex-based controller. Next, I will describe my research on lower limb prostheses.  Here, I will present results on a human-in-the-loop control strategy. I will conclude by outlining my vision for future directions.
Biography: Dr. Jonathan Realmuto is a postdoctoral scholar in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine and a visiting scientist at Children’s Hospital Orange County. He completed his PhD at the University of Washington in 2017, where he was a GAANN Fellow. Before that, he received his BS in mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Realmuto’s research is focused on human-robot systems with an emphasis on developing new technologies for augmenting and restoring human mobility and perception. 




Department of Biomedical Engineering
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