The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Lower-Limb Exoskeleton Research Featured on Cover of IEEE Control Systems Magazine

Lower-Limb Exoskeleton Research Featured on Cover of IEEE Control Systems Magazine

The work of Dr. Robert Gregg, assistant professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering, was recently featured on the cover of IEEE Control Systems Magazine. Gregg’s Locomotor Control Systems Laboratory explores various innovations that assist individuals with mobility including lower-limb exoskeletons.

“I was very excited and proud to see they selected our work,” Gregg said. “Our innovation is a design and control methodology for individuals who have weakened control of their lower extremities. Creating a light and compact exoskeleton with meaningful assistance is a difficult challenge, but it will benefit many more people.”

Gregg’s journal article included a new design and control methodology for an exoskeleton meant to support the knee and ankle that provides both gravity support and inertia compensation. The device is intended to help individuals to initiate movement and assists with obstacles such as stairs but does not provide the total movement control that a heavier exoskeleton would.

Exoskeletons currently approved by the FDA are intended for individuals who have little or no control of their lower extremities, including patients with severe spinal cord injuries, and they are big and bulky. Gregg’s team has focused on producing lighter exoskeletons for individuals who have less severe issues, such as minor stroke recovery.

The lighter exoskeleton design has passed an initial validation and will begin patient testing next at UT Dallas’s clinical bioengineering laboratory housed at UT Southwestern Medical Center. A video of the prototype is available at Gregg’s YouTube channel, Bionic Locomotion.

Gregg, named a Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor in 2018, also serves as an adjunct professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center’s prosthetics and orthotics program. He previously served as a research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s department of mechanical engineering. He completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Story also covered in News Center.