Hands-on workshops or interactive activities will allow students to understand the basic principles of the technologies, plan clinical interventions and experiments and use the devices and tools in real applications.

Students will complete two tracks of workshops (one in the early afternoon and one during the late afternoon) on June 12 (Monday), June 13 (Tuesday), and June 15 (Thursday), based on selected preference and workshop availability. The content of each workshop will span all three days, so it is necessary to attend the three days to make the most of the workshop.

Updated: June 1, 2023 –  An updated SSNR2023 Student Workshop Assignments has been posted! Please check this carefully, particularly if you were interested in WS5 or WS6.

Workshop Track A (early afternoon): WS1, WS2, WS4
Workshop Track B (late afternoon): WS3, WS5, WS6

Accepted SSNR2023 students can access the SSNR2023 Forum for workshop pre-work, software, code, etc.

WS1 – High-density electromyography (HD-EMG) to investigate motor control and coordination
In this workshop, we will introduce the technique of using high-density surface electromyography (HD-EMG) to record and estimate the neural signal sent from muscles from the spinal motor neurons. Specifically, we will present methods for processing neural signals and the applications for understanding impaired motor control. Furthermore, we will provide clinical perspectives on the use of HD-EMG on pathological populations and challenges to clinical implementation. Students will be engaged in recording and processing HD-EMG signals using instruments and tools provided by the organizers. They will learn the techniques for HD-EMG recording, decomposition of the HD-EMG signals, editing of the motor neuron firings, and post-processing of motor neuron firings. Additionally, we will introduce and demo a novel neural sleeve to record HD-EMG developed by Battelle.
Hosted by: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRALab) – Dr. José L. Pons’ lab: Jackson Levine
Tentative Contributions by: Dr. Dario Farina’s lab, OT Bioelettronica, Rebecca Schwanemann, Battelle
Relevant populations: stroke
Techniques involved: HD-EMG

WS1 Day 1: HD-EMG Acquisition
– Why choose HD-EMG?
– HD-EMG recording demonstration
– Hands-on HD-EMG recording
– Clinical discussion of difficulties/applications of HD-EMG with patients
– Decomposition process

WS1 Day 2: HD-EMG Processing
– Motor Unit Editing
– Post-processing
– Discussion of applications of motor units and difficulties with patients

WS1 Day 3: Wearable HD-EMG Neural Sleeve by Battelle
– Battelle neural sleeve description
– Neural sleeve demo
–Designing a patient-focused study between academic, medical, and industry partners

WS2 – Robotic interventions and assessments for sensorimotor impairments
In this workshop, students will learn about using robotic devices to assess and treat sensorimotor deficits in individuals with neurological conditions. Hands-on activities include designing virtual haptic environments (e.g., transparent control, assist-as-needed, human-human physical interaction) for a single-degree-of-freedom robot which can be implemented in training protocols for clinical populations. Presentations will cover technical considerations for designing robotic protocols as well as examples of sensorimotor impairments associated with stroke which can be targeted from the perspective of a physical therapist.
Hosted by: Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (SRALab) – Dr. José L. Pons’ lab: Matthew Short, Alyssa Jones
Tentative Contributions by: Etienne Burdet
Relevant populations: stroke, spinal cord injury
Techniques involved: MATLAB, ROS C++ (basic functions)

WS2 Day 1: Robotics for functional assessments
– Overview of robotics for functional assessments and interventions for motor control
– Transparent control
– Haptic rendering
– Manually tuning PID controller for ankle robots

WS2 Day 2: Clinical aspects and treatment protocols for lower-limb sensorimotor impairments
– Clinical overview of ankle impairments post-stroke
– Groups design an ankle robot post-stroke rehabilitation intervention or evaluation

WS2 Day 3: Motor training and human-human interactions via robots
– Evidence for dyadic training for enhancing individual learning
– Demonstration of dyadic interactions between individuals
– Modify spring stiffness or connection direction (uni/bidirectional)

WS3 – Activity-dependent peripheral electrical stimulation for neuromodulation
This workshop provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles and and techniques for using electrical stimulation for inducing neuromodulation via transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (tSCS). Students will learn about underlying mechanisms, physiological and anatomical principles, different parameters that can be adjusted during electrical stimulation (e.g., frequency, intensity, and duration), and how these parameters can be tailored to individual patient needs. Throughout the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss case studies to gain a deeper understanding of the clinical applications of TENS and tSCS.
Hosted by: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRALab) – Dr. José L. Pons’ lab: Nish Mohith Kurukuti, Shoshana Clark
Tentative Contributions by: Neuroelectronics, Jessica D’Amico, Monica Perez
Relevant populations: Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, spinal cord injury, stroke
Techniques involved: TENS, tSCS

WS3 Day 1: Introduction to tSCS
– Principles and application of tSCS
– Clinical perspectives of current rehabilitation techniques used in the clinic

WS3 Day 2: Introduction to TENS
– Application of TENS using a custom stimulator and framework for activity-dependent stimulation
– Overview of biological signals used for closed-loop TENS (EMG, kinematics)
– Signal processing pipelines
– EMG acquisition of biosignals
– Develop a closed-loop offline stimulation strategy for neuromodulation using the recorded biosignals from WS3 Day 2.
– Activity-dependent stimulation demonstration

WS3 Day 3: tCS, A vision for the future
Hosted by: Neuroelectrics
– What is tCS: main concepts
– How to monitor and stimulate the brain
– Main applications in the research market: Closed loop, BCI, potential clinical applications
– What is the current situation and what we can expect for the future?
– Software presentation and hands-on demonstration

WS4 – Dynamic Simulation of Assistive Robotics and Human Motion
In simulated environments we can design, test, and evaluate novel concepts for robotic devices and their control in an accessible and iterative way. This workshop will introduce a physics engine and will cover the basics of constructing virtual scenes of human motion and robotic devices. Through a series of hands-on programming exercises participants will construct and control virtual systems in both upper and lower limb settings. Additional use cases of the workshop’s methods will also be discussed, such as musculoskeletal or gait simulations. Note: The real-time myoelectric control of the virtual hand developed in this workshop can be trialed in WS5 “Human-Machine Interfacing and Mechatronics for Myoelectric Prosthetics”.
Hosted by: Imperial College London (ICL) – Dr. Dario Farina’s lab: Balint Hodossy, Jumpei Kashiwakura, Arnault Caillet
Relevant populations: Amputees, stroke, Parkinson’s disease
Techniques involved: Biomechanics, Python, Modelling, Signal processing, Control

WS4 Day 1: Simulation of articulated bodies (like you!)
– Overview of use cases of simulation, from neuromechanical modelling to virtual prototyping
– Comparison of simulation engines
– Basics of articulations and their dynamics (interactive exercises using the MuJoCo physics engine)

WS4 Day 2: Locomotion in human-robot systems
– Simulating sensorimotor impairment and gait
– Introduction to musculoskeletal modelling
– Trip prevention exercise with simulated powered orthosis

WS4 Day 3: Virtual prototyping of a prosthetic hand
– Introduction to open-source hand models, robotic and human
– Constructing a user-controllable virtual hand
– Discussion of concerns for simulation to real device transfer

WS5 – Human-Machine Interfacing and Mechatronics for Myoelectric Prosthetics
This workshop examines the design, assembly and control of wearable robotic devices through the example of a prosthetic hand. Principles of electromyography and its use as a control signal will be introduced. Students will use signal processing methods to convert muscle activity to user intent. The extracted signals will be used to define the behaviour of virtual and real prosthetic hands, controlled by workshop participants. Other key aspects of wearable robotics such as sensory feedback will also be covered. Note: The concepts covered in this workshop can be applied in prototyping new ideas in WS4 “Dynamic Simulation of Assistive Robotics and Human Motion”.
Hosted by: Imperial College London (ICL) – Dr. Dario Farina’s lab: Patrick Sagastegui Alva, Jumpei Kashiwakura, Laura Ferrante
Relevant populations: Transradial amputees, prosthesis and orthosis users
Techniques involved: Mechatronics, MATLAB, Signal processing, Bipolar EMG

WS5 Day 1: Hand design
– Introduction of mechatronics of upper limb prostheses
– Hands-on assembling of myoelectric upper limb prostheses

WS5 Day 2: Interfacing
– Introduction of upper limb physiology and methods on intent extraction
– The use of sensory feedback for upper limb prostheses users
– Hands-on implementation on EMG feature extraction and intention detection algorithm

WS5 Day 3: Control
– Controlling the assembled myoelectric upper limb prosthetics (from Day 1) by using the developed control algorithm (from Day 2)

WS6 – Control and personalization of lower limb wearable robots (Prostheses and Exoskeletons)
Lower-limb wearable robots (i.e., prostheses and exoskeletons) typically generate cyclic movement with appropriate assistance to accommodate human gait. In this workshop, we will first introduce typical control methods for lower-limb wearable robots, including finite-state-machine gait controllers, trajectory tracking control, assistive torque control, etc. We will then discuss the methods for the personalization of lower-limb wearable robots for individual wearers. Lastly, we will demonstrate haptic interaction in multi-join lower-limb robots and their application for group therapy.
Hosted by: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRALab) – Dr. Jose Pons’ lab: Yue Wen, Lorenzo Vianello, Lorenzo Amato.
Tentative Contributions by: Technaid, Dr. Elliott Rouse, Dr. Helen Huang
Relevant populations: Stroke, Amputee
Techniques involved: MATLAB, ROS, C++, Gazebo, Python

WS6 Day 1: Custom gait pattern generation suitable for neurorehabilitation with Exo-H3 exoskeleton
Hosted by: Technaid
– Introduction to the Exo-H3 controllers and how to use them in an experimental setup to acquire and execute human’s gait patterns
– Human gait data acquisition via (1) wearing the Exo-H3 in Compliant mode and (2) using a Gait Kinematics Prediction Toolbox based on anthropometric measures
– Using a realistic rendering of the Exo-H3 to simulate the gait pattern before executing it on the actual device
– Execution of a human wearing the Exo-H3 and watching its gait behavior in real-time
– Experimental setup indicators

WS6 Day 2: Finite-state control of the Open Source Leg
Hosted by: Dr. Elliott Rouse
– The Open Source Leg project
– Review of VU impedance control and description of control task
– Introduction of Raspberry Pi imager control and control API
– Groups create an impedance controller and test on an OSL prototype with able-bodied adaptor

WS6 Day 3: Control methods of lower limb wearable robots
– Model-based interaction control in lower-limb exoskeletons
– Human-in-the-loop personalization of hip exoskeleton for gait symmetry
– Virtual physical coupling of two lower-limb exoskeletons
– Demonstration of multi-joint haptic interaction across two types of exoskeletons