Past Projects

Detecting Risk of Falls in Elderly


Amit Shukla (Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)
Jennifer Kinney (Sociology & Gerontology)
Robert Applebaum (Sociology & Gerontology)
Carol Bashford (Nursing)
Mert Bal (Engineering Technology)
Greg Reese (Research Computing Support Group)

The population in Ohio and everywhere continues to grow older and many challenges remain which require low cost, efficient solutions which are deeply rooted in engineering design and use available technology. This project is to address the challenges associated with predicting risk of falls in older adults. Thus reducing health care cost and improving quality of life for older adults. Using clinical studies as well as simulation tools, this research seeks to identify markers for predicting falls during activities of daily living.

Design of a Controller for Surgical Cutting Tools


Amit Shukla (Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)

Nonlinear dynamics is exhibited by electro-mechanical-structural systems under certain operating conditions. This nonlinear phenomenon, for harmonically excited systems, may include emergence of sub- harmonic and/or super harmonic response. Linear analysis tools inherently fail to capture the nonlinear phenomena in the design stage and hence are of little value when utilized for prediction of nonlinear dynamics of interest and the associated parametric analysis for trade-off studies. Many sources of nonlinearities are inherent in the ultrasonic cutting tool which include geometric, material, piezoelectric nonlinearities. This research is to investigate a design of controller for operating these cutting tools.

Augmented Reality Tools for People with Color Blindness (A Computing and Engineering Project)


Bo Brinkman (Computer Science and Software Engineering)

Energy Harvesting for Cardiac Pacemakers 


Amit Shukla (Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)
R.H.B. Fey (Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

Energy harvesting for cardiac pacemakers would enable technology to eliminate repeated battery removal and replacement in patients. This project seeks to identify and exploit nonlinear sub harmonic resonance associated with nonlinear oscillators to design and develop energy harvesters with tunable frequency response characteristics. The students from Miami University and Technical University of Eindhoven are collaboratively working on this project.

Advanced Material Design for Bio-Implants (A Collaboration with Industry)


Fazeel Khan (Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)

Tissue Engineering for Wounded Soldiers (A Biomedical Engineering Application)


Justin Saul (Chemical, Paper, and Bioengineering)

Robot for Simulating Human Balance

Team: James Chagdes

Student Team (Spring 2019): David Muskal, Alkiyar Kenes, Allison Maginot, Yingqui Zhang

Through the use of a non-human analogue, human balance may be studied without the risks and costs associated with the use of human test subjects.One of the main goals of this robot would be to capture the differences in its center of pressure (CoP) by measuring its fluctuations about its upright equilibrium. Because of this, our device would act as an inverted pendulum in order to measure the change in stability. In addition, the robot would contain a ball and socket to imitate a human’s knee and hip joints so that tests and measurements may be more accurate. The research that may be done using this robot to will allow a better understanding of mechanisms in stability. This device would be able to benefit people with balance disorders and elderly people because of its potential to successfully contribute to postural stability research. Furthering research to better understand an upright stance will allow people who suffer from neuromuscular disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis) as well as the effects of old age to prevent injuries, reduce medical costs, and aid their overall well-being.

PTSD Exposure Therapy in a Virtual Reality Environment

Advisor: Dr. James Chagdes

Student Team (Spring 2019): Asim Fauzi, Manh Nguyen

This research serves to develop a virtual application which lets victims undergo immersive virtual therapy sessions under the choice of supervision from AI, in-person therapists, or online therapists. To address the issues of accessibility, sufferers of PTSD will now be able to have their own therapy stations in their own homes or nearest medical center. Another goal is to cut down the cost of treatment by consolidating many therapy services into one building in which therapists can connect to requested therapy sessions online and manage the supervision and walkthrough remotely. This will still allow therapists to physically travel to therapy site locations, personal homes, or veteran affairs centers but now permits victims to acquire the needed treatment discreetly without the previously mentioned worries. By incorporating machine-learning based AI in conjunction with heart-rate responsive scripts (in future versions) to control & supervise sessions, it also provides service to those far from therapy services or those without internet as they can now use a sort of ‘auto-mode’. This application is not only more effective, but more accessible. By cutting down costs, increasing accessibility, and increasing effectiveness this will increase the amount of sufferers to finally seek the treatment they greatly need.

Design of a Cane for Balance and Gait


James Chagdes (Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)
Amit Shukla (Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)
Joao Freire (Student, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering)

Recent mathematical models of human posture have been explored to better understand the space of control parameters that result in stable upright balance. These models have demonstrated that there are two types of instabilities – a leaning instability and an instability leading to excessive oscillation. While these models provide insight into the stability of upright bipedal stance, they are not sufficient for individuals that require the aid of assistive technologies, such as a passive-cane or a walker. Without a valid model one is unable to understand the control parameters required for maintain upright posture or if similar instabilities even exist when assistive technologies are used. Therefore, in this study, we developed a mathematical model of human posture while using a passive-cane to examine the nonlinear dynamics of stance. This study will enable design of a better cane for use in balance and gait.