Autonomous Systems and Robotics research centre
This field deals with the design and development of "human friendly" lower and upper body exoskeletons for walking gait assistance, arm rehabilitation for stroke patients and generic human force augmentation. Many of these wearable devices make use of braided pneumatic Muscle Actuators (pMAs): a new, low mass, high power to weight and volume actuation system.
Our Centre has been leading the research of novel control systems and development of enhanced versions of these actuators for the last decade. The advantage of the pMAs lies in how they produce a muscle-like contact, taking advantage of its inherent nature which weakens linearly as it contracts and as such can be considered a soft and bio mimetic actuation system. This capacity to "replicate" the function of natural muscle and inherent safety is extremely important when working in close proximity to humans, particularly those suffering a disability.
Salford University has been leading the research in haptics interfaces in UK for the last decade. Work has concentrated on the design and realisation of haptic interfaces, and in particular on the design of hand and arm exoskeletons for kinaesthetic feedback and finger tactile displays for object surface exploration (tactile feedback). Some of these projects have also been used for rehabilitation and training of medical personnel.
Cataract Eye Surgery Simulator
Another project deals with the development of interactive, affordable, easy to learn, risk-free, and reusable Medical training devices like our Cataract Eye Surgery Simulator (CESS). This can be used as a teaching and training method to train medical students adequately so that they can learn and master the skills required to perform surgery on live patients.