Atwater Kent 304
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Interdisciplinary Groups

Robotics and Digital Health

Affiliated Department or Office
BS Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 1983
MS Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1987
PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1991

Research Interests: Smart Prosthetics, Biomedical Signal Processing/Modeling, Assistive Technology, Wearable Sensors, Biomedical Instrumentation, Medical IoT.

I am interested in applying engineering and science skills to problems in medicine and human health. Currently, I am focusing on understanding the electrical activity of human skeletal muscles (EMG) for applications including the control of powered prostheses (e.g., prosthetic hands, elbows, and legs), the clinical diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases, and worker safety/ergonomics. Over the course of my career, I have been involved in many other biomedical research/development projects, including studying the electrical activity of the heart (ECG) and blood pressure in individuals who might be at risk for sudden cardiac death, studying the electrical activity of the brain (EEG) to help in the proper delivery of anesthesia during surgery, and studying hand muscles during work tasks (in the interest of reducing injuries). I enjoy both the scientific/theoretical and practical aspects of most of these problems. I have also held commercial employment in more traditional areas of electrical and computer engineering, such as microprocessor-based instrumentation and radar systems. In the classroom, I try to help students learn the fundamental engineering skills that will open up a diverse set of opportunities to them after graduation. I believe that engineering skills are a fantastic springboard to many future opportunities to contribute to society.

Scholarly Work

Cross-Comparison of Three Electromyogram Decomposition Algorithms Assessed with Experimental and Simulated Data
Influence of Joint Angle on EMG-Torque Model During Constant-Posture, Torque-Varying Contractions
Using the Electromyogram to Anticipate Torques About the Elbow
Electromyogram Whitening for Improved Classification Accuracy in Upper Limb Prosthesis Control
Influence of Joint Angle on EMG-Torque Model During Constant-Posture Quasi-Constant-Torque Contractions
Professional Highlights & Honors
WPI Chapter of Sigma Xi
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester News Tonight
WPI Prosthetic Technology

Ted Clancy, professor of electrical and computer engineering, Ziling Zhu, WPI PhD student, and Debra Latour, an assistant professor of occupational therapy at Western New England University, spoke with Worcester News Tonight about developing wireless sensors to improve the performance of prosthetics for individuals with upper limb amputations.