Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


Semi-Powered Approaches for the Design of Lower Limb Prostheses


Prof. Michael Goldfarb


Vanderbilt University


Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 1:10:00 PM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Aaron Young


This talk will describe ongoing work in the design and control of prostheses intended to restore mobility to individuals with lower limb loss. In contrast to previously described approaches involving fully-powered devices, this talk will explore opportunities in the development of low-power approaches to the design and control of wearable robotics, where the robotic devices employ semi-powered and/or modulated-passive behaviors that function in combination with power from the user in an effort to provide assistive functionality in a lower-weight and/or more compact package relative to fully-powered approaches. Such devices do not replace or displace fully-powered approaches, but offer a complement to them along the continuum of care that perhaps trades range of functionality for smaller size and lower weight.


Michael Goldfarb is the H. Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Goldfarb conducts research on the design and control of robotic devices and systems that interact physically with people, and more specifically, on the design and control of intelligent assistive devices that improve quality of life for people with physical disabilities. Dr. Goldfarb has published more than 200 papers on related topics, including papers that were awarded best-paper awards in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2013, and papers that were finalists for best paper awards in 2015 and 2017. Current and prior work includes the development of robotic limbs for upper and lower extremity amputees, and the development of lower limb exoskeletons for individuals with spinal cord injury and stroke.