Professor Mojtaba Ahmadi, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cross Appointed, Systems and Computer Engineering
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
Talk Title: Rehabilitation Robotics and Assistive Devices
Dr. Ahmadi received his Bachelor’s degree from Sharif University, Master’s from University of Tehran, and Ph.D. from McGill University in 1998, followed by a postdoctoral research at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal. He then took senior positions in industry, including: Opal-RT Technologies Inc. in Montreal as the manager of Advanced Robotics and Controls, Maxtor Corporation (Seagate today) in San Jose, California as senior servo engineer, and Institute for Aerospace Research of the National Research Council Canada in Ottawa, leading robotic design activities for a new 8DOF robot for testing in a high-speed wind tunnel. Dr. Ahmadi has been a faculty member with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University since 2005, where he is now a full professor. His research interests are in designing robots for new applications, control algorithms, legged locomotion, human-machine interaction, compliant sensing and actuation, assistive devices and rehabilitation robotics. He is the founder and director of the Advanced Biomechatronics and Locomotion Laboratory (ABL) at Carleton, where several of his novel robotic and mechatronic systems are currently being developed. He is also a co-founder of GaitTronics Inc in Ottawa, a spin off from his lab commercializing the Solowalk robotic mobility system currently used in the Ottawa Hospital, Children’s Hospital (CHEO), and Toronto Ability Centre. Dr. Ahmadi’s work has appeared on national televisions and radios such as CBC and Discovery Channel.
The robotics community is making great efforts to address healthcare challenges. In the last decade, several new medical robots have been proposed, prototyped, or commercialized. Some of the most well-known include the Da Vinci robot used in surgery, the Cyber knife used in radiotherapy, and the Locomat system used in rehabilitation. This talk will give an overview of the evolution of robotic systems and the gradual paradigm shift in the robotics, from research on industrial automation to advanced custom solutions for new emerging applications. Particular attention will be given to the new medical robots, current status of rehabilitation robotics, and the challenges that are surrounding research and commercialization of medical robots. In the second part of this talk, Dr. Ahmadi will highlight his research at Carleton University’s Advanced Biomechatronics and Locomotion (ABL) laboratory that are related to medical applications. Examples include: combined robotics and gaming for early post-stroke gait training of bedbound patients; an omni-directional robotic mobility systems for fall detection and prevention for acute-care patients (Solowalk); and balance aid assistive biofeedback system for fall detection and prevention in older adults. He will also highlight biomechanical optical sensing and universal communication tools for persons with disabilities.
By providing affordable and accessible technologies that are powered by advanced Bio-Signal Processing (BSP), Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the world will look and feel very different in the next decade. Despite recent advances in BSP, ML, and computational technologies, however, our brain remains invincible and the most intriguing signal processing unit with unique capabilities to analyze/fuse different streaming and multi-modal signals in an adaptive and real-time fashion. Neuromuscular channels, which are deployed by the brain to communicate with the external environment could be disrupted by numerous disorders, including but not limited to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brainstem stroke, brain or spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophies, and multiple sclerosis. According to previous studies, nearly two million people in the United States and far more across the globe suffer from such diseases. In late stages of the aforementioned diseases, a patient may lose the ability to control voluntary muscles, including eye movements and respiration placing the patient in a locked-in situation and being unable to communicate properly. Although the emerging life-support technologies enable such patients to live a longer life, even for those who are in the locked-in state, the personal, social, and economic burdens of their disabilities will continue.
The spirit and wide scope application of advanced BSP and ML solutions in neuro-rehabilitation and assistive systems calls for novel and innovative techniques to further advance recent developments. The objective of this symposium is to bring together and investigate new techniques and technologies that augment the capabilities of conventional neuro-rehabilitation and assistive systems using advanced BSP and ML solutions. Advanced and real-time processing of physiological signals (such as: EEG, EMG, eye gaze, body movements, and speech) can open new doors to not only enhance the effectiveness of neuro-rehabilitation and assistive systems, but to also enable alternative treatments for patients who cannot use conventional technologies and techniques due to the severity of their condition.
Topics of Interest
- Assistive and Neuro-Rehabilitation Systems
- Advanced Bio-Signal Processing & Machine Learning
- Intelligent Assistive Mechatronic Technologies
- Bio-Robotic Rehabilitation Systems
- Multi-modal Sensing for Mobile Health
- Bio Deep Learning: Biomedical Signals/Images
- Wearable Assistive Systems
- Intelligent Robotic Rehabilitation
- Physical Human-Robot Interaction
- Bio-Robotic Rehabilitation Systems
- Brain Computer Interfacing (BCI)
- Biomedical Data Fusion
Paper Submission: Prospective authors are invited to submit full-length papers (up to 4 pages for technical content including figures and possible references, and with one additional optional 5th page containing only references) and extended abstracts (up to 2 pages, for paper-less industry presentations and Ongoing Work presentations) via the GlobalSIP 2019 conference website. Manuscripts should be original (not submitted/published anywhere else) and written in accordance with the standard IEEE double-column paper template.
- June 27, 2019: Paper submission due
- July 15, 2019: Notification of Acceptance
- August 15, 2019: Camera-ready papers due
For inquiries please contact the Symposium Chairs:
- General Chairs: Dr. Arash Mohammadi (firstname.lastname@example.org), and/or Dr. S. Farokh