What We Do

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Robotics research has drawn much inspiration from humans as a system: in the design of the anthropomorphic aspects of manipulators, sensors, and actuators, approaches for coordinating full body motions, and the higher level strategies for realizing complex tasks and interacting with the external environment and other humans. Today, robotics as a field has matured to the point where methodologies developed and used in robotics may be leveraged to address research questions in many other fields, ranging from neuroscience to computer animation. Together with the tools from biomechanics, robotics enables our efforts to explore natural human motion, leading to improvements in treatments for patients with neuro­-musculoskeletal disorders, and facilitating development of human­-inspired robots. Using robotics methods and control theory, we aim at gaining fundamental insight into natural human movement, and understanding the mechanisms that lead to improved quality of treatment and rehabilitation. Using biomechanics, we aim at exploring the relationships between muscle mechanics, form, and function, and creating subject­ specific dynamics simulations to explain the causes of movement abnormalities.

Through this new Technical Committee on Human Movement Understanding, we hope to create a focal point for this emerging interdisciplinary research field, facilitate dissemination within both the robotics and biomechanics research fields, and share the contributions and the emerging applications with the broader scientific community.