Credits: 3


Prerequisite: ENME351; and must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in ENME462.
Restriction: Permission of ENGR-Mechanical Engineering department.
Fundamentals of assistive robots used in a wide varietyof ways to help humans with disabilities. Three application areas will be covered: (1) Rehabilitation robotics to recover motor function from neurologic injuries such as stroke, (2) Prosthetics to enable mobility function in amputees, and (3) Social robotics for cognitive impairment and developmental disorders such as autism. Theory behind different control systems employed by assistive robotics, as well as the mechanical design, sensors & actuators, and user interfaces behind representative robots in the respective areas. Guidelines for designing assistive robots. Ethical and regulatory considerations in the design of assistive robots.

Semesters Offered

Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Learning Objectives

After taking this course, students will have a broad and fundamental understanding of assistive robotics, a rapidly emerging field in robotics. Students will obtain theoretical knowledge of position control systems and control techniques deployed in assistive robots, as well as specific insights into selection of appropriate control systems to target different disability conditions. Students will be able to understand the research and development processes for assistive robots taking into account clinical considerations and biomechanical needs of the targeted disabilities. In addition, students will be able to understand the experimental techniques used in human movement science to evaluate human performance, a key aspect of characterizing the efficacy of assistive robots. For each application area (rehabilitation robotics, prosthetics, social & cognitive robots), the course will expose students to many technologies, the engineering principles underlying those technologies, and help them understand why some are commercial successes while others are not. Finally, students will be introduced to ethical and regulatory guidelines in the field of assistive robots, a key aspect for clinical study design to test efficacy.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to robotics, assistive robotics terminology.
  • Robotic control systems.
  • Rehabilitative robotics to recover motor function from neurologic injuries.
  • Prosthetics to enable mobility function in upper and lower limb amputees.
  • Social robotics for cognitive impairments and developmental disorders.
  • Guidelines for designing assistive robots.
  • Ethical and regulatory considerations in the design of assistive robots.


Learning Outcomes

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • an ability to work professionally in both thermal and mechanical systems areas

Additional Course Information


Roy, Anindo


None required.

Other Supplemental Materials: A. Roy, HI Krebs, DJ Williams, CT Bever, LW Forrester, RF Macko, N Hogan. Robot-Aided Neurorehabilitation: A Novel Robot
for Ankle Rehabilitation, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2009.

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

  • Two 75 minute lectures each week
Last Updated By 
Dr. Roy Anindo, June 2017