ME Seminar Speaker: Rana Soltani-Zarrin - Development and Control of Compliant Upper-limb Exoskeletons for Stroke Rehabilitation

Thursday, March 07, 2019
10:00 am to 11:00 am
Floor/Room #: 

Research Presentation Abstract

Stroke is a leading cause of disability around the world. With an aging population that continues to grow and the increasing number of stroke patients, current manual therapies are incapable of providing intense therapy needed for full recovery of stroke patients. Robotic-based rehabilitation devices can address this shortcoming. However, despite the recent progress in the development of rehabilitation devices, their employment in the hospitals and clinics is limited. An important drawback of current upper-limb devices is their inability to fully comply with the user’s body. Alignment of the robotic and human joint centers is the requirement for achieving kinematic compliance and ergonomic design. However, this is challenging due to the complexity of the biological joints such as shoulder. The other drawback of existing upper-limb exoskeletons is their limitation in adapting the provided therapy based on the level of ability of individual patients. This talk will be focused on introducing a new compact, lightweight upper-limb exoskeleton, called CLEVERarm, which can provide intense stroke rehabilitation training for patients suffering from upper-limb motor control disabilities. The novel design of CLEVERarm allows for accurate alignment in the shoulder joint by moving the device joints in harmony with the human body. Additionally, an innovative motion generation method considering the motion of inner shoulder during arm elevations is developed which produces human-like motions. The control system of the CLEVERarm tailors the device functionality based on the user ability, producing patient specific trainings and assistance which are adjusted based on the patient’s progress.



Rana Soltani-Zarrin is receiving her PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. She received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Tabriz, and a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Central Florida in 2010 and 2013, respectively. Her areas of research and interest are kinematic design, path planning, and control of robotic systems including unmanned ground vehicles, and medical and rehabilitation robots. She has a patent pending for a developed novel rehabilitation exoskeleton, and has received the Excellence in Societal/Technical Impact award from the US National Academy of Engineering for her research presentation on “Robotic-based rehabilitation” at the 2017 Global Grand Challenges Summit. She has published multiple conference and Journal papers in the area of robotics and control, and is a reviewer of European Journal of Control, Elsevier Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. She has received multiple awards for academic excellence and leadership including the Emil Buehler Aerodynamic Analog Fellowship, and the Ethel Ashworth-Tsutsui Memorial Award for Mentoring, from Texas A&M University, and the Fran O'Sullivan Women in Lenovo Leadership Scholarship from the national Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She has served on the technical program committee of ASME's 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (DSCC), and 2017 Region C SWE Conference. She has also served as a session chair at 2014 DSCC, and was the GradSWE chair at Texas A&M University in 2017-2018.