Dr. Krebs has been a Principal Research Scientist and Lecturer at MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department since 1997. He also holds an affiliate position as an Adjunct Professor at University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, and is a visiting professor at several universities worldwide. He is an IEEE Fellow and was nominated by two IEEE societies: IEEE-EMBS (Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society) and IEEE-RAS (Robotics and Automation Society) to this distinguished engineering status “for contributions to rehabilitation robotics and the understanding of neuro-rehabilitation.” His goal is to revolutionize the way rehabilitation medicine is practiced today by applying robotics and information technology to assist, enhance, and quantify rehabilitation. He was one of the founders, member of the Board of Directors, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Interactive Motion Technologies from 1998 to 2016. He successfully merged it with Bionik Laboratories, a publicly traded company, where he served as its Chief Science Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors until July 2017. He founded 4Motion Robotics in August 2017.
Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from 2000 through 2002. He then spent 13 years on the faculty at University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, most recently as the Swanlund Chair Professor, the highest chaired position at the university, where he also served as Director of the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. In 2016, he joined Northwestern University as the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Neurological Surgery, with courtesy appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Chemistry. He is also the founding Director of the newly endowed Center on Bio-Integrated Electronics. Dr. Rogers has published nearly 600 papers and is an inventor on over 100 patents and patent applications. His research has been recognized with many awards including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship and the Smithsonian Award for American Ingenuity in the Physical Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.
Benjamin Wolff serves as the Chairman and CEO of leading global robotics company, Sarcos Robotics. In this role, he oversees the strategic direction of the company and engages with the company’s partners, customers and investors. Prior to joining Sarcos, Wolff served as CEO, President and Chairman at Pendrell Corporation from 2009 to 2014. In 2003, Wolff co-founded Clearwire Corporation, where he served as President, CEO and Co-Chairman. Clearwire was sold to Sprint in 2013 for more than $14 billion. He also previously served on the board of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), and is currently a member of the Board of Visitors of Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Wolff earned his law degree from Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1994, and his Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University in 1991.
Breakout Session Speakers
Alan Asbeck is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Assistive Robotics Lab at Virginia Tech. Previously, he was a Research Scientist at Harvard and the Wyss Institute for Biologically-Inspired Engineering, where he developed soft, textile-based exosuits to assist the body during walking. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and received an MEng and Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a second Bachelor’s in Physics, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Asbeck’s research centers on building human-assistance devices and on understanding how to make them work most effectively with the body. His goals are to help people to regain capabilities they have lost, enable people to perform feats that were not previously possible, and to help people avoid future injuries.
Dr. Simona Crea received her PhD in Biorobotics from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in December 2015. She is currently an Assistant Professor at The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, where she co-leads the Wearable Robotics laboratory.Her research activities are focused on developing and validating novel wearable technologies and paradigms of human-robot interaction, with a focus on ergonomics and behavioral aspects. She is project manager of the H2020 CYBERLEGs Plus Plus project, and co-PI of the MOTU project funded by INAIL (the National Institute for Insurance Against Accidents at Work) and CENTAUROfunded by Regione Toscana. She is the scientific coordinator of the national project HABILIS funded by INAIL, which aims at developing novel hand exoskeletons for the rehabilitation of workers following work-related injuries.
Bruce Floersheim, P.E., Ph.D., COO, GoX Studio
Dr. Floersheim has over 25 years of experience successfully leading and managing organizations of increasing complexity and responsibility as an officer in the United States Army and a small business founder/executive. Dr. Floersheim successfully started and has grown a federal government services company from the original two founders to $210M contract awards and 45 employees in the third full year of operations, running the company as CEO. He is currently the COO of GoX Studio, a product development company focused on wearable and robotic technologies that enhance health, performance, and quality of life. He is also a co-founder and Director of Operations for the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRA). Dr. Floersheim obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 from Old Dominion University, his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point.
Robert (Bobby) Gregg joined the Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as an Assistant Professor in June 2013, with an adjunct appointment at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Prior to joining UTD, he was a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University. Dr. Gregg directs the Locomotor Control Systems Laboratory, which conducts research on the control mechanisms of bipedal locomotion with applications to wearable control systems, including prostheses and orthoses. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and the Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Dr. Gregg is a Senior Member of the IEEE Control Systems Society and the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society. He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
Dr. Hitt is recognized nationally as an expert in wearable robotic technologies and human systems. He participates on multiple government, private and academic panels and boards such as the Board on Army Science and Technology, the Army Basic Science Review Panel, and Wearable Robotics International Workshop. He has been invited to be the plenary speaker at numerous conferences such as those held by the National Robotics Initiative, the National Defense Industrial Association, Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Harvard University Smart Clothes Symposium, and ExxonMobil Wearable Technology Workshop. After serving as the director for both the Aerospace Systems and Thermodynamics Group and the Mechanical Engineering Research Center at the United States Military Academy, Dr. Hitt was invited to become a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). While at DARPA, Dr. Hitt led multiple advanced technology programs in partnership with 15 industry prime contractors, 10 subcontractors, and 10 world-class academic institutions and managed a robotics-centric program portfolio worth over $300 Million. Dr. Hitt currently serves as the CEO of GO XTUDIO, LLC, a product development company focused on wearable and robotic technologies that enhance health, performance, and quality of life. Dr. Hitt obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University and his B.S. in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Jayaraman is the Director of the Max Näder Center for Rehabilitation Technologies & Outcomes Research and a research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago / Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. He is also an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences, and Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. In addition, Dr. Jayaraman serves as the Director of Global Outreach for the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRA). His research interests focus on developing and executing both industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated research in rehab robotics, prosthetics, orthotics, and other assistive and adaptive technologies to treat physical disability. He specifically focuses on using quantitative outcome measures (example wearable sensors, smart phones, biomarkers etc.) to improve the real-world use of rehabilitation technology. Dr. Jayaraman’s work is currently funded by NIH, DOD, NIDILRR, NSF, Industry, and private foundations. He earned his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL and his M.S. in Physical Therapy from Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.
Matthew Marino is a Lead Ergonomist with Briotix, located in Portland, OR. Briotix is the leading provider of workforce performance solutions, combining ergonomic, injury-prevention, physical rehabilitation and performance optimization services. In his role, Matt works with some of the world’s largest companies to develop human-centered organizations and unlock the full potential of the global workforce. His background and training have given him the tools to develop results driven programs for a global clientele. Matt is a Physical Therapist, Certified Professional Ergonomist, Certified Workers Compensation Healthcare Provider, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator, Certified Personal Trainer, Six Sigma black belt who is trained in the Functional Movement Screen, Selective Functional Movement Assessment and Y Balance Test.
Olga Motovilova is the co-founder of noonee AG, an exoskeleton company founded in 2014 as a spin-off from ETH Zurich. The company’s vision is to become leaders in Wearable Ergonomic Mechatronic Devices to improve the working environment in the industry. The company’s first product is the Chairless Chair, a device which helps employees who work standing on production lines all day long. Together with the noonee team, Olga pioneered the process of implementing industrial exoskeletons within manufacturing companies to successfully integrate such devices into the production environment. Before founding noonee, Olga has gained some experience in the banking and investment areas. She graduated from the University of Zurich with a Master’s in Business and Economics. Olga is a citizen of the world and has grown up and lived in five different countries (Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Russia, and Venezuela).
Karen Nolan is a Senior Research Scientist in the Human Performance and Engineering at the Kessler Foundation (KF), Associate Professor of PM&R at Rutgers NJMS, Clinical Research Scientist at Children’s Specialized Hospital, and Affiliated Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Nolan has extensive experience in leading the design and implementation of biomechanical research and strong expertise in balance, gait, movement analysis, neuromuscular physiology, rehabilitation robotics, and peripheral motor control. She completed the NIDRR-funded ARRT postdoctoral research fellowship in Biomechanics and Outcomes Research at KF/UMDNJ (now Rutgers) NJMS. Dr. Nolan was awarded a NIDRR Mary E. Switzer Merit Fellowship Grant to conduct research on the effect of stroke and orthotic interventions on gait. She is recognized as a leader in the field of biomechanics and motor rehabilitation and has been invited to give presentations on these topics at national and international conferences. Dr. Nolan serves as a grant reviewer for NIH, NIDILRR, VA, and is an ad-hoc reviewer for Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, Journal of Biomechanics, Prosthetics and Orthotics International, NeuroRehabilitation, Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, and Journal of Applied Biomechanics and is a member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, International Society of Biomechanics, and Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society.
Kathleen O’Donnell leads the Medical Exosuits program in the Walsh Biodesign lab at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. She is passionate about bringing principles of human factors and user research into all stages of the development process for medical devices. Kathleen holds degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Industrial Design, and previously worked in industry for Integra Neurosciences prior to joining the Wyss Institute. In her current role, she is active in guiding the technical development of the exosuits projects, as well as facilitating the lab’s collaboration with ReWalk Robotics. ReWalk plans to commercialize the first medical exosuits for stroke applications based on the technologies developed in the Walsh lab.
Sean began his journey molding carbon fiber braces with a hair dryer in his apartment at RIT, and has devoted every moment since to the science of ergonomics, and building a series of products, ErgoSkeletons, to address on-site issues and mitigate the risk of musculoskeletal injury. Working with scientists, engineers, ergonomists and software developers, it continues with laser focus on more accurate data collection and real-time safety intervention. Saving workers the pain, and organizations the financial impact, of imperfect industrial environments. Sean was selected as an honoree for the Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017.
Frank Pochiro is a Senior Engineer at BMW in the Process Planning Department responsible for Tooling, Fixtures, Equipment, and processes for BMWs built at the Spartanburg Facility in Upstate South Carolina. As part of a current initiatives to coordinate projects focusing on innovations for manufacturing and assembly, he collaborated with two wearable robotics suppliers to be the first in the world to use exoskeletons in the automotive manufacturing industry. BMW’s experience with exoskeletons has been highlighted in several major publications and German Television. Prior to BMW, Frank spent more than 20 years in the automotive industry. He has held multiple contract or direct engineering and management positions in quality, design, and manufacturing. He worked at Dimensional Control Systems, EDAG, Opel, DaimlerChrysler, and Robert Bosch Corporation.
Rodrigo (Rod) V. Rimando. Jr. is the Director of the Technology Development Office in the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM). He has over 28 years of nuclear experience, 20 of which were spent working in a variety of field assignments as an environmental engineer and project manager at several DOE nuclear sites. Mr. Rimando is now charged with advancing EM’s mission of legacy nuclear cleanup by exploiting innovative solutions and novel technologies. Because of the high-hazard, high-consequence and high-risk nature of EM’s mission over the next several decades, Mr. Rimando has placed programmatic emphasis on the use of robotics, remote systems, virtual tools, and complementary technologies to enhance cleanup operations by working safer and smarter. Wearable robotics for use by the general workforce is of particular interest to Mr. Rimando because it serves to be a new form of personal protective equipment as well as a performance augmentation and amplification device. Mr. Rimando’s vast, hands-on field experience gives him an end-user perspective that will drive practical use of the state-of-the-art.
Scott Schneider is the Chief Future Development Officer and President, MedicalCare at Ottobock Healthcare LP. In this role, Scott is responsible for exploring opportunities in partnerships, technology, managing integration and political relationships in North America. Ottobock is a privately-owned Germany-based company, founded in 1919, with its North American headquarters in Austin, Texas. Ottobock designs, develops and sells medical technology products and fitting solutions for people with limited mobility in the fields of prosthetics, orthotics, mobility solutions (wheelchairs, rehab solutions), neurorehabilitation and medical care. Scott joined Ottobock in 2003 with the acquisition of his company TEC Interface Systems and has held assignments in both Ottobock North America and Germany. Prior to joining the company, Scott was a partner at Northwestern Artificial Limb & Brace and co-founder of TEC Interface from 1988-2002. While there, the organizations were awarded the 1995 Small Business of the Year from the US Small Business Administration, the 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year regional award and 2002 Fast Company’s ‘Fast 50’ Most Innovative Companies.
Dr. Thomas Sugar works in the areas of wearable robotics for rehabilitation and gait assistance. In industry, he worked as a project engineer for W. L. Gore and Associates earning a Professional Engineering License. He is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Engineering at Arizona State University. He majored in business and mechanical engineering for his Bachelor’s degrees and mechanical engineering for his Doctoral degree, all from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sugar leads a research effort in wearable robotic systems. He is developing robotic orthoses and prostheses for rehabilitation and enhanced mobility. His current research projects include SPARKy, Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics, a powered prosthetic ankle, PAFO, a powered ankle foot orthosis, and wearable exoskeletons for enhanced gait performance. Dr. Sugar also co-founded two companies: SpringActive, Inc. and the Wearable Robotics Association (WearRA).