Bionics Qld CEO announcing the nine amazing Challenge 2020 finalists!
Our nine Challenge 2020 finalists.
Wearable, lightweight robotic device for assist-as-needed walking
PROJECT LEADER: ALEJANDRO MELENDEZ-CALDERON
TEAM: CAMILA SHIROTA, ANTONIO PADILHA LANARI BO, JAN VENEMAN, STUART DILLER
Designed to assist stroke and spinal cord injury patients, the wearable robot (exoskeleton) is flexible, automatically adjusting its level of assistance according to the user’s residual neuromuscular activity at any given time. A UQ-led team with a GU academic as collaborator and established industry partners (Hocoma in Switzerland and ESTAT Actuation in Pittsburgh, USA).
Osseointegrated bionic limbs could pull more than their weight
PROJECT LEADER: ADJUNCT PROFESSOR LAURENT FROSSARD
TEAM: PROF. MICHAEL SCHUETZ, DR DAVID SAXBY, ROSS POWRIE, CAROLINE GRAYDON
This team led by artificial limb scientist, Laurent Frossard, integrates wearable loading sensors and a personalised computational neuro-muscular model for real-time animation of a digital twin of an amputee’s residual limb during load-bearing exercises. This will give practitioners a first-ever non-invasive and easy-to-use diagnostic device to diagnose implant stability that is critical to rehabilitation and the long-term success of osseointegrated limbs.
Training bespoke tissue-engineered vascular grafts via soft robotics
PROJECT LEADER: TRENT BROOKS-RICHARDS
TEAM: CODY ALEXANDER FELL, SABRINA SCHOENBORN, MARK ALLENBY
Bespoke tissue-engineered vascular grafts via soft robotics – Bio-resorbable tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) seeded with autologous cells allow complete graft integration and restoration of a native vessel. So far TEVGs have not been approved for patient use in part due to their durability. However, soft robots can be made that emulate flexion of the femoropopliteal artery (FPA), providing a more realistic environment for TEVG maturation. The innovation has the potential to reduce co-morbidities and enable limb use to be restored to natural levels. NB: ‘Autobionics’ is a novel stream in bionics where technology does not replace functionality but aids the tissue in regaining its natural functionality.
Smart Prostheses with Bionic Sense of Touch
PROJECT LEADER: DR AJAY PANDEY
TEAM: SEVDA TRIFONOVA, SREYA SINGH, OLIVER CAMPBELL, LING KUAN KIM, DR HEBA KHAMISH
A QUT-led team is creating a prosthetic device that gives users an accurate sense of pressure, position, and surface deformation in digital form. The team proposes to transform the future of prosthetic devices by embedding innovative touch sensors to create the bionic sense of touch. The future of prosthetics would be very different where users benefit from accurate sense of pressure, position and surface deformation provided to them in a digital form.
PROJECT LEADER: DR CLAUDIO PIZZOLATO
TEAM: DR DANIEL HARVIE, DR DINESH PALIPANA, PROF. DAVID LLOYD, PROF. MICHAEL COPPIETERS
A Griffith University innovation, SenseLoop, is the world’s first digital twin-based feedback device to enhance and recover limb sensation following spinal cord injury. The digital twin can function in real time to understand how muscles and tendons behave during movement.
Augmented Bionics Non-Invasive Bionic Ear
PROJECT LEADER: VIRAJ AGNIHOTRI
TEAM: MAHANTHESH CHANDRA, NICHOAS JABBOUR, DR DAVID MCALPINE
The team is developing a non-invasive bionic ear with the convenience of a hearing aid with the functionality and efficacy of a cochlear implant. The bionic ear uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate the auditory nerves of end users.
Neural and AI-Enabled Bionics
Wearable Devices for Neural Robotic Control
PROJECT LEADER: NATHANIEL MARSHALL
TEAM: DR MAHA BAKTASHMOTLAGH, DR ANTONY RAPISARDA, CONOR WYVILLE
Deep Connections’ AI-enabled device delivering neural robotic control – This AI-driven wearable device is set to provide people living with limb loss with finer control over robotic prostheses. Designed for people with upper limb loss, the system created by Deep Connections will interface with robotic prostheses through VR as well as a mobile device. The new process integrates hardware and software components to create an end-to-end pipeline for myoelectric data processing in neural robotic control. Hardware has been designed to leverage machine learning techniques by capturing more data (256 data points compared to the industry standard 16).
AI-enabled Analysis of Cognitive Prosthesis for Spatial Attention Recovery following Brain Injury
PROJECT LEADER: DR DAVID PAINTER
TEAM: PROF. HEIDI ZEEMAN, BENJAMIN RICHARDS, PROF. TREVOR HINE
A novel VR platform (Attention Atlas) that maps distorted spatial attention known as visuospatial neglect in a 360-degree virtual space. Attention Atlas is used in conjunction with a cognitive prosthetic (a modified version of a popular driving game, Euro Track Stimulator 2) to assess the effects of the intervention on a patient’s spatial attention.
Intuitive Grasp – Wearable Device for Restoring Hand Function
PROJECT LEADER: ANTONIO PADILHA LANARI BO
TEAM: ALEJANDRO MELENDEZ-CALDERON, VANESA BOCHKEZANIAN, BRYN SCHOLEFIELD, LACHLAN STEELE
The UQ-led team is developing a hybrid wearable system (soft robotic glove and functional electrical stimulation or FES) to restore hand function in individuals with spinal cord injury. Their key focus is the design of the end user’s intuitive control. One of the first challenges is designing a system that is capable of maximising the advantages of both technologies while minimising the drawbacks. Another major innovation in this project relates to how the user controls this device that artificially moves their hands. The team is focusing on developing machine learning algorithms that will interpret the user’s movement intension in real time to control both soft robotics and neuroengineering components of the system.