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Grant Awarded for Mind-Machine Engineering Research Center

Prosthetic hand developed in UW's Neurobotics Lab (University of Washington)

Prosthetic hand developed in UW's Neurobotics Lab (University of Washington)

National Science Foundation announced an $18.5 million grant to establish an Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering based at University of Washington in Seattle. The grant is for five years of funding, with an option for another five years.

The new center is expected to research robotic devices that interact with, assist, and understand the nervous system. Yoky Matsuoka, computer science professor at UW and director of the center says its work will “combine advances in robotics, neuroscience, electromechanical devices, and computer science to restore or augment the body’s ability for sensation and movement.”

Researchers are expected to develop new technologies for amputees, people with spinal cord injuries and people with cerebral palsy, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or age-related neurological disorders. Scientists from UW’s Neurobotics Laboratory and other academic departments, along with researchers at partner institutions, will conduct mathematical analyses of the body’s neural signals, design and test implanted and wearable prosthetic devices, and build new robotic systems.

Partner institutions include Massachusetts Institute of Technology and San Diego State University, Spelman College and Morehouse College, both in Atlanta, and Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif. International partners are the University of British Columbia and the University of Tokyo. Collaborators include the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the La Jolla Bioengineering Institute, and hospitals in Seattle and San Diego.

Read more: Integrated Robotic Tactile Skin Sensitivity Developed

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