Mechatronics for Human Assistance


In this research, a networked mobile assistive system (NMAS) that integrates a physical assistive device with a high-speed wireless body sensor network is proposed. The proposed system provides a complete and active health care system to benefit the users (e.g. elderly people, patients with Parkinson’s disease and stroke) and improve the management strategy of the health care provider (hospitals, physical therapists). Various research topics are under investigation, including sensor and actuator design, human motion capture and analysis, control of the rehabilitation device over real-time wireless network, and clinical test of the wireless human motion monitoring system. This is a joint research project with computer science researchers from University of Texas, Austin (UTA) and physical therapists from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).


System Structure and Hardware

NMAS structure

Structure of the NMAS
(two computers and two networks; internet to connect
therapists and patients; a local wireless network to connect
local computer and all local devices.)

NMAS hardware

Hardware developed for the NMAS
(upper left: wireless joint angle sensor; lower left: smart
shoes for gait detection; right: compact rotary elastic
actuator for knee joint assistance)


Research Topics

Development of Smart Shoes
Development of Wireless Joint Angle Sensor
Passive Exoskeleton Design for Human Motion Analysis
Design and Control of a Compact Rotary Series Elastic Actuator (cRSEA)
Control of the cRSEA over Wireless Network



Wenlong Zhang Graduate Student Email  
Chen-Yu Chan Graduate Student Email Homepage
Kan Kanjanapas Graduate Student Email  
Recent graduates:      
Joonbum Bae UNIST, Korea Email Homepage
Kyoungchul Kong Sogang University, Korea Email Homepage


National Science Foundation (NSF)