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BME Seminars - Hermano Igo Krebs

Seminar announcement flyer

We are pleased to announce that our next OpenYourMind seminar will be given by Hermano Igo Krebs Principal Research Scientist and Lecturer at the Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Mechanical Engineering Department. He also holds an affiliate position as an Adjunct Professor at University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, and as a Visiting Professor at Fujita Health University, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, at University of Newcastle, Institute of Neuroscience, and at Osaka University, Department of Mechanical Science and Bioengineering. Dr Krebs is also one of the founders and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Interactive Motion Technologies, a Massachusetts-based company commercializing robot technology for rehabilitation.

The seminar will be held on Friday November 4th 2016 between 1:30 pm and 3 pm in Amphi Fournel at ENSAM ParisTech (151, Boulevard de l’Hopital, 75013 Paris). The seminar topic will be “Rehabilitation Robotics: Trotting-Back to the Starting Gate”.


The demand for rehabilitation services is growing apace with the graying of the population. This situation creates both a need and an opportunity to deploy technologies such as rehabilitation robotics, and in the last decade and half several research groups have deployed variations of this technology. Results so far are mixed with the available evidence demonstrating unequivocally that some forms of robotic therapy can be highly effective, even for patients many years post-stroke, while other forms of robotic therapy have been singularly ineffective. The contrast is starkest when we contrast upper-extremity and lower-extremity therapy. In fact, the 2010 and 2016 Stroke Care Guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA) and of the Veterans Administration/Department of Defense (VA/DoD) endorsed the use of the rehabilitation robotics for upper extremity post-stroke care, but concluded that lower extremity robotic therapy is much less effective as compared to usual care practices in the US.  We submit that the contrasting effectiveness of upper- and lower-extremity therapies arises from neural factors, not technological factors. Though, no doubt, it might be improved, the technology deployed to date for locomotor therapy is elegant and sophisticated. Unfortunately, it may be misguided, providing highly repeatable control of rhythmic movement but ultimately doing the wrong thing. The technology we have deployed to date for upper-extremity therapy is firmly based on an understanding of how upper-extremity behavior is neurally controlled and derived from decades of neuroscience research. The limitations of lower-extremity robotic therapy lie not in the robotic technology but in its incompatibility with human motor neuroscience. Here I will briefly review the evidence supporting such negative views, and based on our experience with upper extremity robotic therapy, we describe what we are presently investigating to revert and work towards a future endorsement of the AHA and VA/DoD for rehabilitation robotics for lower extremity post-stroke care.

Arts et Métiers ParisTech
Université Paris Descartes
Master BME Paris