Visible to the public CPS: TTP Option: Synergy: Learning and Adaption in Pediatric RoboticsConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details
Lead PI:Homayoon Kazerooni
Co-PI(s):Francesco Borrelli
Performance Period:10/01/15 - 09/30/19
Institution(s):University of California-Berkeley
Sponsor(s):National Science Foundation
Award Number:1545106
479 Reads. Placed 414 out of 803 NSF CPS Projects based on total reads on all related artifacts.
Abstract: Children affected by neurological conditions (e.g., Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Atrophy, Spina Bifida and Severe head trauma) often develop significant disabilities including impaired motor control. In many cases, walking becomes a non-functional and exhausting skill that demands the use of the aids or the substitution of function, such as wheelchair. This usually cause these children not to acquire locomotion skills, and consequently to lose their independence. However, it is well understood that bipedal locomotion, an essential human characteristic, ensures the best physiological motor pattern acquisition. For this reason, in children with neurological and neuromuscular diseases, independent walking is a significant rehabilitation goal that must be pursued in a specific temporal window due to the plasticity of central nervous system. In other words, children with neurological conditions have a small window of time to acquire locomotion skills through assisted walking rehearsals. The objective of this research work is to create and experimentally validate a set of technologies that form the framework for the development of adaptive, self-balancing, and modular exoskeleton robotics systems for children with neurological disorders. It is our belief that the exoskeleton (and its associated infrastructure) resulting from this research will offer an effective tool to promote locomotion skill acquisition, and in general health, during a critical period in the early life of children with neurological conditions. This research proposal develops a data-driven human-machine modeling specific to physiological conditions. This creates regression models that predict the user behavior without explicit modeling the complex human musculoskeletal dynamics and motor control mechanism. Additionally this research project formulates a safe adaptive control problem as a model predictive control (MPC) problem. In this method, an optimal input sequence is computed by solving a constrained finite-time optimal control problem where exoskeleton intrusion (input from exoskeleton) is minimized to maximize the user's intent to promote learning. This project further develops a novel approach for stabilizing and preventing fall of the exoskeleton and the child as a whole. This method allows a child wearing an exoskeleton to learn locomotion skills described above with less likelihood of falls. This research project furthermore evaluates the developed technologies in terms of efficiency and efficacy and creates a novel fun game using exoskeleton for children to promote locomotion skills.