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Georgia Tech researchers receive 3 NSF Emerging Frontiers awards
Date:9/29/2011

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $6 million to fund three projects involving researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Each four-year, $2 million grant was awarded through the NSF's Division of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI).

"The EFRI research teams will probe some profound aspects of the interface of biology and engineering," said Sohi Rastegar, director of EFRI. "If they are successful, the principles and theories uncovered in their investigations could unlock many technological opportunities."

This year, 14 transformative, fundamental research projects were awarded EFRI grants in two emerging areas: technologies that build on understanding of biological signaling, and machines that can interact and cooperate with humans.

The three Georgia Tech projects include:

  • Developing a "therapeutic robot" to help rehabilitate and improve motor skills in people with mobility problems;
  • Creating wearable sensors that allow blind people to "see" with their hands, bodies or faces;
  • Generating and rigorously testing quantitative models that describe spatial and temporal regulation of cell differentiation in tissues.

The therapeutic robot could enhance, assist and improve motor skills in humans with varying motor capabilities and deficits. The goal of the project is to program a humanoid rehabilitation robot to perform a "partnered box step," which is a defined pattern of weight shifts and directional changes, solely based on interpreting movement cues from subtle changes in forces between the hands and arms of the robot and the person.

To do this, researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University will study how humans use their muscles to walk, balance and generate force signals with the hands for guidance when moving in cooperation with another person. They will also study "rehabilitative partnered dance," which has been specifically adapted to help impro
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Contact: Abby Robinson
abby@innovate.gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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