Workshops and Tutorials

Keynote 1


Title:Medical and non-medical exoskeletons


Abstract:Wearable exoskeletons are being developed for a variety of applications. The presentation will explore the main application sectors and the different requirements which need to be fulfilled. These relate to user functionality specifications, regulations for compliance, usability, etc. The main issues in medical and non-medical domains will be described.

Biography of the speaker


Gurvinder Professor Gurvinder Singh Virk

Professor of Robotics, University of Gävle and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Guest Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University, China





Professor Gurvinder S. Virk is a technical expert in control theory and its applications with particular experience in service robotics and the use of advanced model-based control to a variety of applications. His current interests are in physical assistant exoskeletons for elderly persons (medical and non-medical applications), olfactory navigation for mobile robots, CLAWAR robots as well as integration of ICT into the built environment. He has extensive experience of project management and leading international R&D and standardization projects. He has held several grants from national and European sources (total value of over €20 M), as well as industry. He has produced over 300 papers in these areas and 14 books, 16 PhDs successfully completed and currently supervising 3 PhD students. Prof. Virk is Convenor of three international robot standardization work groups, namely:ISO TC184/SC2/WG7 Personal care robot safety; IEC TC62/SC62A & ISO TC184/SC2/ JWG9 Medical electrical equipment and systems using robotic technology (medical robots); ISO TC184/SC2/WG10 Modularity for service robots; which are developing the important standards for the new emerging robots.

He is Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET) and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (FCIBSE) and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA); he is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Mathematician. He has been awarded, the Freedom of the City of London for his work in promoting Information Technology.


Keynote 2


Title:Powered exoskeletons for bipedal locomotion: an analysis of clinical relevance


Abstract:Powered exoskeletons are expected to increase the quality of life of people with motor disorders such as paralyzed or paretic legs by assisting or restoring legged mobility while providing health benefits across multiple physiological systems. This talk will ask the following questions: What is the state-of-the-art? What are the benefits and risks for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI)? What are the levels of injury considered in such studies? What are their outcome measures? What are the opportunities for the next generation exoskeletons? What are the likely future developments in this field?

Biography of the speaker


José L. Pons Professor José L. Pons

Head of Neural Rehabilitation Dept., Cajal Institute
Spanish National Research Council





Prof. Pons obtained his PhD in Physics, Universidad Complutense Madrid, in 1997. In 1998 he was appointed as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Industrial Automation of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research, CSIC. In 1999 he was awarded a position as Tenured Scientist, in 2007 a position as Research Scientist and eventually in 2008 a position as Full Professor, all of them at the same institution. Along these last ten years of research, Prof. Pons has also served as lecturer in Polytechnic University of Madrid (Robotics and Advanced Sensors and Actuators), Alfonso X El Sabio University (Systems theory and Control), Alcalá de Henares University (Robotics and Advanced Actuators). In total, Prof. Pons has spent a cumulative duration of 185 weeks in these research stays. The topics of the research activities have always been in line with research topics at his home research organization and span Kinematics and Dynamics of robots, Advanced Sensor and Actuator technologies, Rehabilitation and Medical robotics, Wearable Robotics as well as neuromotor and biomechanical modeling. Prof. Pons has published along the last ten years over 100 articles in highly ranked international and has also contributed during the last decade to peer-reviewed international conferences with over 100 contributions in oral presentations.


Keynote 3


Title:Medical device regulation and standards


Abstract:“Wearable medical robot” is a new technology which was developed out of different disciplines and has to fulfill complex customer needs. The presentation try to give researchers and spin off companies an overview about existing and upcoming international standards for medical devices which should take into consideration if a wearable medical robot is designed. Additionally to the standards a rough overview about requirements, laws and regulations for the main markets for wearable medical robot as medical devices is given.

Biography of the speaker


Burkhard Burkhard Zimmerman

Standard working group of International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology
Chief Quality Officer Hocoma AG, Switzerland





Professor Burkhard Zimmerman is Chief Quality Officer and member of the Executive Board at Hocoma AG, a founding member of IISART. He focused on rehabilitation robots and medical devices. He is also Member/ Chairman of several national and international standard committees, working and project groups in the area of medical devices, Chairman of the standard working group of the International Industry Society He is in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology (IISART) and has more than 25 year experience in the medical device area as a biomedical engineer.


Keynote 4


Title:European Research Projects on Wearable Robots for Training and Support of Gait


Abstract:The presentation will explain how currently funding around robotics R&D is organized in Europe. It will provide an overview of the recent and ongoing large scale European research projects related to lower extremity exoskeletons and exo-suits. The overview will elaborate on which wearable robotic application cases are targeted, which system abilities or performance they are aiming at, and which technological approaches, both in hardware design and control, have been chosen in these different projects.

Biography of the speaker


Veneman Dr. Jan Veneman

TECNALIA Research & Innovation, Spain





Dr. Jan Veneman is project manager and senior researcher in the Rehabilitation Department in the Health Division of TECNALIA Research & Innovation, Spain. He is active in the fields of exoskeleton robotics, gait rehabilitation, gait assessment, haptic devices, exoskeletons and smart orthotic materials, and in the topics benchmarking and standardization for wearable exoskeletons related to assistance and training of walking.

Since 2002 he has been active in these fields, when he started the development and evaluation of a robotic exoskeleton for interactive gait rehabilitation (LOPES) in the University of Twente, and consecutively at the Roessingh’Research and Development center. He is currently Spanish expert in the ISO/IEC TC 184/SC JWG9 committee on medical robotics standardization and supporting the definition of new standardization on Rehabilitation Robotics as member of the IISART standardization working group. He is also active in the working group “Benchmarking of Bipedal Locomotion”, co-organizing workshops in this field, and is PI of the FP7 ICT research project “BALANCE” on postural balancing supportive control of leg exoskeletons.


Keynote 5


Title:Compliant Wearable Robots


Abstract: In this presentation, I will focus on describing powered exoskeletons using compliant springs. The challenges of building lightweight systems that are powerful will be elucidated as well as the need for systems to reduce the metabolic cost of the user.We are developing wearable leg exoskeletons that assist a person to walk and run. These systems seamlessly transition between walking and running. We use compliant actuators to assist motion at the joints. A controller is based on a phase angle that is in tune with the motion of the person. We have shown reduced metabolic cost comparing device worn to not wearing any device at all.

Biography of the speaker


Thomas Sugar Professor Thomas Sugar

Polytechnic School
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
Human Machine Integration Laboratory





Dr. Thomas Sugar works in the areas of wearable robotics for rehabilitation and gait assistance. In industry, he worked as a project engineer for W. L. Gore and Associates earning a Professional Engineering License. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Engineering at Arizona State University. He majored in business and mechanical engineering for his Bachelor’s degrees and mechanical engineering for his Doctoral degree all from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sugar leads a research effort in wearable robotic systems. He is developing robotic orthoses and prostheses for rehabilitation and enhanced mobility. His current research projects include SPARKy, Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics, a powered prosthetic ankle, PAFO, a powered ankle foot orthosis, and wearable exoskeletons for enhanced gait performance. Dr. Sugar also has co-founded two companies. SpringActive, Inc. builds powered prosthetic ankles, orthoses, and exoskeletons. The Wearable Robotics Association will host a wearable robotics conference, WearRAcon, in Phoenix on an annual basis.


Keynote 6


Title:Designing exoskeletons for the assistance of elderly persons


Abstract:In this talk, the design of the exoskeletons will be described. This will include the identification of the functional assistance requirements of potential end users of the AXO-SUIT, biomechanical modeling and simulation in human-exoskeleton interaction, the design of lightweight and flexible structure, and the development of adaptive control algorithms. Moreover, safety issues on physical assistant exoskeletons will also be addressed and discussed.

Biography of the speaker


Shaoping Ba Professor Shaoping Bai

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering,Aalborg University, Denmark





Professor Shaoping Bai received PhD degree in Robotics, Nanyang Tech. Univ. (NTU), Singapore, 2001, MEng in Precision Instrument Engineering from Tsing Hua University, Beijing, China, 1993, and BEng. in Precision Instrument Engineering from Harbin Inst. of Tech., Harbin, China, 1988. He is currently an Associate Professor at Dept. of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng., Aalborg University, Denmark. His research is focused on novel mechanisms, medical and assistive robots, parallel manipulators, with special interest in kinematics, dynamics, linkage synthesis and integrated design. Dr. Bai leads and participates in a number of national and international projects in robotics and machines. He is the coordinator of EU project AXO-SUIT on assistive exoskeletons..


Keynote 7


Title:The human in the loop: Ergonomics design considerations driving innovation in assistive robotics


Abstract:The wearable robotics landscape has reached a mature level with proof of concept technologies quickly followed by consumer orientated products. The assistive robotics sector continues to develop but several technical constraints remain a barrier to mainstream commercial products. To resolve highly complex control or sensor/actuator limitations designers often address usability issues only late in the design cycle. But that is not to say the resulting solutions are inherently user centered at a holistic level.
This presentation provides an insight into structured user centered design innovation for medical devices with an emphasis on ergonomics aspects of assistive robotics.

Biography of the speaker


Leonard Dr. Leonard O’Sullivan

Lecturer Ergonomics and Human Factors, Design Factors Research Group Enterprise Research Centre
Department of Design and Manufacturing Technology,University of Limerick, Casltetroy, Limerick, Ireland.





Dr Leonard O’Sullivan is a senior lecturer in Ergonomics and Human Factors in the Design Factors Research Group which is based in the Department of Design and Manufacturing Technology at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He has a bachelor’s degree is in Materials and Construction Technology, a Masters in Safety and Ergonomics and a Ph.D. is Ergonomics. His research interests include human factors and ergonomics in medical device design and innovation. His research interests also include occupational health aspects of work related musculoskeletal disorders in industrial workplaces. The group currently participates in several national and international projects in connected health and also passive and active assistive technologies, including powered orthoses and exoskeletons. The group has specific expertise in human motion analysis and biomechanics modeling of human-exoskeleton interaction, in human perceptual aspects of exoskeleton use, and in exoskeleton safety.


Keynote 8


Title:Exoskeletons in China


Abstract:The presentation will introduce exoskeleton researches and developments in China. Meanwhile, the research findings in Zhejiang University will be presented in detail including upper body exoskeleton for master-slave control, upper body exoskeleton for rehabilitation, lower body exoskeleton for rehabilitation, hand exoskeleton impedance control and ergonomic design of human-machine system. The aim of these researches is to improve the comfort of wearable robots by applying biomechanical design and compliant control methods.

Biography of the speaker


CanjunYang Professor Canjun Yang

Professor and Doctoral Tutor in Zhejiang University
Deputy Dean of Department of Mechanical Engineering Zhejiang University





Canjun Yang’s main research interests include Mechatronic Devices and Technology for Deep-sea Exploitation, and Man-machine Intelligent Mechatronic System. In Man-machine Intelligent Mechatronic System, he proposed the “Innovative Methods for Man-machine Integration”, “Teleoperation Control for Upper-extremity Exoskeleton”, “Technology for Augmenting Lower-extremity Exoskeleton”, and “Robotic Technology for Medical Rehabilitation Exercise Exoskeleton”.
As project leader, Dr. Yang took the responsibility for two projects of National Science Foundation of China, five projects of The National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program), and more than 20 national and provincial research projects. He co-published 3 books, and published over 150 technical papers including over 50 papers are indexed in SCI/EI. He held over 20 China National Invention Patent. He was awarded the National Technology Invention Award (Second Prize, No. 2), the University Technology Invention Award (First Prize, No. 1) of Ministry of Education of P. R. China, Science and Technology Award of Zhejiang Province (First Prize, No. 2), Zhejiang Youth Science and Technology Award (for individual). He was selected to the national “Ten Thousand Talent Program” expert, “the State Council Special Allowance” expert, The National Ministry of Science and Technology in Innovation of Youth Science and technology Leading Talent, the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET) and New Century 151 Talent Project of Zhejiang Province (First Class).


Keynote 9


Title:EXO-LEGS exoskeletons for the ageing society


Abstract:The presentation will focus on the AAL Call 4 project “EXO-LEGS” which aims to develop non-medical lower-body mobility exoskeletons complying with the ISO 13482:2014 standard for personal care robots. The project explores and develops new innovative techniques to allow manufacturing of non-medical exoskeletons for mass production and to provide assistance to the user in a seamless natural way. The developed mechanisms and control techniques will be presented with developed prototypes for the end user testing of the EXO-LEGS prototypes. Preliminary results from the end user testing are presented along with the test procedures and experimental methods that have been followed in order to evaluate the performance of the exoskeletons in the daily living activities of standing, sit-to-stand transfers and straight walking.

Biography of the speaker


Usman Haider Dr. Usman Haider

Researcher in University of Gävle
PhD student in University of Polytechnic Cartagena, Spain





Dr. Usman Haider is currently working as a Researcher at University of Gävle, Sweden and is a PhD student in University of Polytechnic Cartagena, Spain with research focus on developing new control strategies for physical assistive non-medical exoskeletons. He holds a Masters degree in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (with distinction) from University of Applied Sciences Südwestphalia, Germany. He also holds a Masters degree in Embedded Systems and Control (with distinction) from University of Leicester, UK. He attained his Bachelors degree in Software Engineering from Bahria University, Pakistan. Usman has several years of experience of working in multiple EU-funded research and development projects with focus on physical assistive non-medical exoskeletons. In his experience he has worked on system architecture and design, control method development, software development as well as administration and management of the projects. He is also Chief Executive Officer of PhaseX AB. His passion is the development and delivery of assistive technologies that have a positive impact on people’s lives.


Keynote 10


Title:The IEC 60601 series of Medical Electrical Equipment Safety Standards


Abstract:All medical electrical/electronic devices used around the world should demonstrate that they are safe and effectiveness before they can be used. The IEC/ISO safety standards used for Medical Electrical Equipment or Medical Electrical System are covered under the IEC 60601 series of medical standards. These safety standards can be used for many different types of Medical Electrical Equipment or Systems. The IEC 60601 series of medical standards can also be used for electrical “Wearable medical robot”. The new upcoming IEC 60601 medical standards will play a key role for decision-makers of tomorrow. This presentation will provide the attendees a basic introduction of the 60601 standards and also demonstrate the benefits of standardization concerning electrical wearable medical robots.

Biography of the speaker


Michel Brosoit Michel Brosoit

Biomedical Senior Engineer
Medical Technical Advisor at CSA Group





Michel work actively in Health Care Facilities completing a multitude of biomedical and electro-medical trainings/courses from different renowned medical companies. He has accumulated more than 25 years of experience in the electrical/biomedical field. Michel joined CSA International (today called CSA Group) in 1998 as a Certification Engineer for Electro-medical and Laboratory Equipment. Since 2004, Michel was appointed as the Medical Technical Advisor (TA); he is responsible for the global technical decisions relating to the IEC/ISO 60601/80601 Medical Standards for CSA Group.Michel is a member of the Medical Canadian National Committees (CAN/CSA Standards, Canadian delegate of the TC62: SC62A, SC62B, SC62C and SC62D), Member, Secretary and Chairman of International committees (IEC and IECEE) such as IEC TC62 SC62A WG14, IECEE MEE Risk Management Task Force, IECEE ETF3 (MED), IEC TC62 SC62A JW9 and IEC/ISO TC62 SC62D WG35 and WG36 - Medical Electrical Robots. He actively promotes Safety in different Medical Fields by teaching Medical Standards to different parties and R&D groups around the world.


Keynote 11


Title:Special Session on the Global Wearable Robotics Landscape and Opportunities


Abstract:In this joint presentation with Professor Thomas Sugar, we will present the global landscape in wearable robotics and emerging opportunities. Currently, a relatively small group of companies is working hard to stake an initial foothold in what has been forecast as a $2.1B market by 2021 with a 73% annual growth rate between 2014-2019. We will provide a profile of the 48 companies globally with a reasonable claim to participating in the wearable robotics business. Half of these are still in the start-up mode with valuations that are less than $25M. One-quarter are large global companies such as DaeWoo, Parker Hannifin and Lockheed-Martin, who have made their names in other business lines and are interested in getting into the exo-skeleton market. Many of the remaining quarter started as small firms spun out of research or university organizations that were bought-up by larger companies. The three main areas of innovation are currently centered in the United States, Europe and East Asia, accounting for 90% of the global market. The startup, funding profile and approach in these areas are as different as their culture and geography.

Biography of the speaker


Michel Brosoit Dr. Joseph Hitt

Executive Director
Wearable Robotics Association





Dr. Hitt is recognized nationally in the United States as an expert in wearable robotic technologies and human systems participating on multiple government, private and academic panels and boards such as the Board on Army Science and Technology, the Army Basic Science Review Panel, Wearable Robotics International Workshop, and invited to be the plenary speaker at numerous conferences. After serving as Association Professor and the director for both the Aerospace Systems and Thermodynamics Group and the Mechanical Engineering Research Center at the United States Military Academy, Dr. Hitt was invited to become a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). While at DARPA, Dr. Hitt led multiple advanced technology programs, in partnership with industry, and world-class academic institutions, including the US Government’s largest wearable robotics program, Warrior Web, and the successor to Big Dog, LS3 quadruped robot. Dr. Hitt currently serves as the CEO of GO XTUDIO, LLC, a product development company focused on wearable and robotic technologies and COO of FITT Scientific, LLC, a technical service company. Dr. Hitt obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California.


Keynote 12


Title:Cross-Industry Standard Test Method Developments – from Manufacturing to Wearable Robots


Abstract:Manufacturing robotics has been moving towards human-robot collaboration with light duty robots being used side-by-side with workers. Similarly, exoskeletons that are both passive (spring and counterbalance forces) and active (motor forces) are worn by humans to move body parts. Safety standards now allow both manufacturing and wearable robots to be used. However, performance standards for both systems are still lacking. Research to develop standard test methods for performance of manufacturing robots and search and rescue robots is underway where similar test methods could also be used for exoskeletons. This paper de-scribes recent manufacturing robot and search and rescue robot performance standard research and provides a discussion on how performance of wearable robots can benefit from using the same test methods.

Biography of the speaker


Roger Bostelman Roger Bostelman





Advanced Mobility Engineer in the Intelligent Systems Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He was Engineering Project Manager for 25 of his 37 years at NIST, managed the Intelligent Control of Mobility Systems Program, and many NIST and military technology research and development projects. Roger has designed, built and tested mechanical systems and their interface electronics on robot cranes, arms and autonomous vehicles including an automated HMMWV; HLPR (Home Lift, Position, and Rehabilitation) Chair; AGV’s; Flying Carpet RoboCrane; and several other RoboCranes. He is Chairman of the ASTM F45 autonomous vehicle performance committee and serves as expert on the ANSI/ITSDF B56.5 sub-committee on manufacturing autonomous vehicle safety and the ISO 13482 committee on personal care robots. He holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University, an M.S. degree in Technical Management from the University of Maryland University College, and is seeking a PhD in Robotics at the University of Bourgogne, France. He has over 90 publications in books, journals, and conference proceedings and he holds 8 patents.









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