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.)
For interested undergraduates seeking research opportunities in HDCL, please also do NOT email Professor Hsiao-Wecksler. Instead, please apply here to become a part of our dynamic research team for Fall 2023 or Spring 2024, and an HDCL graduate student will be in touch with you shortly.
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 disability.
- 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. (YouTube link and associated articles overview the motivation and Gen 2 prototype operated by our collaborator Coach Adam Bleakney, who has very limited torso movement – yet still able to control PURE.)
- 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.
Congratulations to HDCL alumnus Dr. Kevin Genehyub Kim for successfully defending his doctoral thesis!