Grants

Current:

PROLIMB: A sensorimotor PROsthesis for the upper LIMB – EPSRC EP/V01062X/1

Aim: The aim of this project is to model, design, fabricate and validate an affordable body-powered prosthetic fingertip digit with integrated mechanical haptic feedback. It will do this by combining synergetic expertise in developing parameterised mathematical models of limb motion from the University of Warwick (UoW) and in creating soft, stiffness-controllable robotic structures and haptic feedback interfaces from University College London (UCL). Of key importance is its transformative nature, which we will achieve through close collaboration with (1) clinical experts from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) and the UHCW Innovation Hub, who will provide consultation and clinical input throughout; and (2) strategic industrial project partners, namely the Steeper Group and Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, world leaders in the development of prosthetic devices; and (3) through co-creation with the Global Disability Hub CIC (GDI Hub), working with local communities, academics, experts and disabled people to drive innovation, co-design and collaboration; and e-NABLE, a worldwide charity that creates free protheses for those in need of an upper limb assistance.

Amount: >£1m (to be confirmed)
Duration: March 2021 – February 2024
Principle-Investigators (PIs): Dr H.A. Wurdemann, Prof. Michael Chappell (EP/V011375/1), Dr Joseph Hardwicke (EP/V010808/1)
Project Partners: Steeper Group, Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, Global Disability Hub CIC (GDI Hub), e-NABLE.

INSTINCT – INtuitive Soft, stiffness-controllable hapTic INterfaCe for soft Tissue palpation during robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery – EPSRC EP/S014039/1

Aim: Just as the definition of ‘instinct’ , the vision of this project is to intuitively provide surgeons with soft tissue stiffness information when performing soft tissue palpation during RMIS. Based on previous research creating soft, stiffness-controllable robotic structures and haptic feedback interfaces, the aim of this project is to design, model, fabricate and validate a soft, stiffness-controllable haptic feedback actuator which will be integrated into the da Vinci Research Kit.

Amount: £357,166
Duration: March 2019 – February 2022
Principle-Investigator (PI): Dr H.A. Wurdemann
Project Partners: Prof. Alberto Arezzo, Prof. Prokar Dasgupta, Prof. Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, Cambridge Consultants Ltd, Generic Robotics, Haption

Modelling soft stiffness-controllable medical devices for colorectal surgery – The Academy of Medical Sciences SBF003\1109

Aim: A novel antagonistic stiffening mechanism will be applied to continuum soft robots. Further, I will investigate computational models to achieve real-time position and stiffness control for these emerging robots. My field of clinical application is colo-rectal surgery. There are 0.7m new rectal cancer cases each year worldwide being the second most common cancer in Europe. For this surgery-specific scenarios, the proposed medical tool has to meet dimensional limitations in order to be deployed in a minimally invasive manner and exert up to 5N at the manipulator’s tip.

Amount: £99,989
Duration: May 2018 – April 2020
Principle-Investigator (PI): Dr H.A. Wurdemann

iSeat-Towards an Intelligent Driver Seat for Autonomous Cars – EPSRC EP/R037795/1

Aim: The iSeat system builds upon a complete re-think of the manner in which humans interact with autonomous cars. The smart combination of sensor systems, machine learning, affective computing, human factors, haptics and robotics will result in a bi-directional human-machine cooperation that is safe, intuitive, effective, & personalised.

Amount: £251,453
Duration: January 2019 – June 2020
Principle-Investigator (PI): Dr B. Anvari
Project Partner: Dr H.A. Wurdemann


Past:

EPSRC Early Career Capital Equipment – EP/S01800X/1

Amount: £99,330 + (£45,000 industrial contribution)
Duration: July 2019 – March 2020
Investigators: Dr B. Anvari, Dr H.A. Wurdemann (Co-I), Dr L. Toni, Dr F. Boem, Dr J. Unwin, Mr K. Achuthan, Mr D. Scott, Dr M. Baghdadi, Dr W. Newton, Dr E. Cosgrave, Dr A. Singh, Dr W. McDowall.

Development of an affordable hand prosthesis – Seed funding, Royal Academy of Engineering

Aim: The overall aim of this project is to enable the local communities in low- and middle-income countries to develop their own prosthetic hands using low cost/recycled materials that they have access to. Local communities will gain knowledge to build patient-specific prostheses and, at the same time, recycle materials.

Amount: £22,000
Duration: October 2018 – September 2019
Investigator: Dr M. Moazen (PI), Dr H.A. Wurdemann (Co-I), Prof. E.L. Colombini (Co-I), Prof. C.A. Cifuentes G. (Co-I)

Haptic feedback for body-powered prostheses – Seed funding, UCL Grand Challenges

Aim: We are working with plastic and hand surgeons Dr Joseph Hardwicke and Dr Matthew Venus from the University of Warwick and the organisation LimbForge to improve the prototype, which now includes soft sensors and a feedback system. The hope is that this technology could be an affordable, accessible, and appropriate haptic feedback solution for people who have lost fingers or hands, to give them feeling in their hands again.

Amount: £4,000
Duration: July 2016 2018 – June 2017
Principle-Investigator (PI): Dr H.A. Wurdemann