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Robotics For Rehabilitation

Robotics, Exoskeleton3 min read

Mohammad Soleimani Amiri

Meet Mohammad Soleimani Amiri

Ph.D. Robotics Engineer @ National University of Malaysia (UKM)

Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia 

Mohammad Soleimani Amiri is a robot and control system engineer working on exoskeleton rehabilitation robots and navigation systems for autonomous vehicles.

His interests are computer vision, AI algorithms, and control systems.

Mohammad received a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering in 2011 and 2016 respectively and also did his PhD. in robot and control systems from the National University of Malaysia (UKM) in 2020.

During his Ph.D. thesis developed a control system for a lower-limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation purposes.

What inspired you to pursue a career in robotics?

When I was a kid I was really interested in mathematics and I played with electronic components, later during my bachelor's degree I became a fan of dynamic and control systems then I realized Robotics can provide an opportunity to have all of them together.

As we know Robotics is a multidisciplinary field that is an intersection of many other fields such as mathematics control science and electronics. In my point of view, it means robotics can gather all the potentials of those fields for making a better life for human beings.

In the near future, we will see many mind-blowing technologies that Robotics will provide for us. I really like to have my own contribution In this field.

Explain and describe how works the exoskeleton for rehabilitation?

The exoskeleton is a wearable robot that is worn to increase human strength.

This concept brings up the idea of using the exoskeleton as a rehabilitation device for patients who suffer disability caused by stroke or spinal cord injuries.

On the other hand, these devices can bring comfort and release the stress from the physiotherapists because they can reduce the physical burden from them.

For instance, locomotion disabled people gain weight and in traditional therapies, some proportion of their upper limb weight should be carried by physiotherapists that this can cause physical problems for them in the long term.

What goal you would like to reach in the next 10 years as Roboticist?

I think this decade that we are in its early years, is the decade of robotics.

The chipsets, CPUs, and significantly GPUs have been getting tinier with higher capabilities. Besides this, the algorithms libraries for programming have been developing faster than before.

Therefore we are facing the optimal algorithms that can be implemented in smaller and stronger CPUs and GPUs. As a roboticist, I should try to strengthen my capability and try to learn gradually to not leave behind the improvement of the technologies and I hope I will have a chance to be a pioneer in this field and have my own contribution.

If I want to be so ambitious, I really like to be part of the Artemis project of NASA and work for JPL for the first martial rover that can ride humans on the surface of the red planet.

Also, I really like to continue my career in rehabilitation robotics and help disabled people who suffer daily tasks.

Explain with one example how design optimization in robotics works?

Optimization is one of the mathematical techniques that is helpful whenever we are facing an equation or equations that have unknown parameters and have many possible solutions.

In robotics, it is very common to have unknown parameters when we go deep in the mathematical perspective.

For example, optimization is very handy to solve the system identification that can be used for designing the control system. Also, It can be helpful for tuning the control parameters. In some cases, optimization can be utilized to design the structure of the robot in the manufacturing processes.

Mention an autonomous robot's navigation capability for their use and development?

Navigation of robot vehicles is useful in situations that are difficult or dangerous to access for humans.

For example, in order to maintain the high voltage cables in tall towers, autonomous drones can be very handy. As another example, for working in the mines that there is the danger of explosion or poison using autonomous drones can be a solution.

Do you have any robotics projects that want to share your experience with us?

Currently, I am involved in two projects related to commercializing the lower limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation and autonomous navigation of drones at the National University of Malaysia.

The exoskeletons that are in the market are costly and complicated.

In our team, we are trying to develop an exoskeleton for lower limb rehabilitation to be more affordable for a higher range of patients and physiotherapy clinics.

In the case of navigation of drones, I am working on developing a navigation system based on 3D mapping because I think the current navigation systems are not developed enough to be practical in industrial usage.

In another project, I made a sonar radar using Arduino Uno and rosserial.

Just for fun, I tried to test the possibility to create a map in rviz. It ended up to a map but maybe not really practical. Anyway, I liked to share it with you.