The Human Dynamics and Controls Lab is NOT looking for any new graduate students at this time.

Please do not email Professor Hsiao-Wecksler unless the student can provide their own funding (e.g., multi-year fellowship). (The Grainger College of Engineering guaranteed-funding for the PhD program necessitates that faculty need to secure funding to support PhD students. Due to the current size of the HDCL, we are not accepting students that need financial support.)

The Human Dynamics and Controls Laboratory applies principles from user-centered design, soft and hard robotics, wearables, musculoskeletal biomechanics, and movement analysis. The group’s work has been supported by NSF, NIH, Dept of Homeland Security, and the Jump ARCHES program at UIUC.

The HDCL is currently focusing on three main research areas that our group and our healthcare and academic partners are exploring to improve the life of people with physical or mental impairment.

  • PURE (Personalized Unique Rolling Experience), a compact, self-balancing mobility device for manual wheelchair users that features multi-directional, hands-free movement. PURE breaks the mold of the traditional wheelchair in having the user sit above a lightweight powered chassis with a single large spherical wheel that is driven with lean-to-steer technology.
  • Robotic training simulators that mimic behaviors of human patients to help healthcare learners practice and improve their clinical techniques used during neurological examinations (spasticity, rigidity, clonus, tendon reflex, strength).
  • Development of wearable intelligent technologies to afford clinicians and researchers focusing on psychosocial and behavioral issues, such as stress and anxiety, with real-time multimodal data to assess human function in the real world.

These projects involve large teams of faculty, staff, and students across engineering, industrial design, kinesiology, and disability services, and clinicians in neurology, physical & occupational therapy, and mental health.

HDCL Spring 2004Meeting on zoom
Spring 2004. Note Professors Molly (Hathaway) Goldstein (UIUC, ISE); Kurt Beschorner (UPitt, Bioe); Matty Major (Northwestern, NUPOC)
Fall 2005. Note Professors Raziel Riemer (Ben Gurion U, Israel, IE), Alex Shorter (U Michigan, ME)
Spring 2007. Note Professors Alex Shorter (U Michigan, ME), Pilwon Hur (GIST, Korea, ME), Kiwon Park (Incheon National University, Korea, ME), Louis DiBerardino (Ohio Northern U, ME)
Spring 2008. Add Dr. Yifan (David) Li (founder, CEO, Hesai Tech, China)
Fall 2013. Add Dr. Mazhar Islam (Intel), Dr. Matt Petrucci (Stanford), Dr. Morgan Boes, MD/PhD (U Minnesota), Soon-to-be Dr. Chenzhang Xiao
HDCL Fall 2014
HDCL Fall 2015
Spring 2016. Farewell lunch for Dr. Mazhar Islam (Intel)
HDCL Fall 2017. Add Dr. Maria Fox (REEF), Dr. Nick Thompson (3M), soon-to-be Drs. Chenzhang Xiao, Leo Song, Yinan Pei
HDCL lab reunion at ISB/ASB 2019
HDCL Fall 2019
HDCL Spring 2021
HDCL Spring 2022 (wild and together again!)
Summer 2022