MikeMike Van der Loos

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Education:  Dr. Van der Loos received his “Ingénieur Mécanicien Degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1978, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1992, both in the area of robot-human interface design.

Teaching: Dr. Van der Loos has been teaching undergraduate design courses in the Mechanical Engineering Department, and has coordinated the 120-student, 30-project, full-year Capstone course for the past 3 years. Currently, he supervises 2 PhD students and co-supervises 7 other graduate students in the UBC CARIS Lab, which conducts research in human-robot interaction and rehabilitation robotics.

Research: Prior to joining UBC, in the 1990s Dr. Van der Loos was co-PI on one of the first teams to demonstrate clinical effectiveness of the bimanual MIME stroke therapy robot at the VA Rehabilitation R&D Center in Palo Alto, CA, and Stanford Univ. He was PI to the “Driver’s SEAT” steering simulator project that provided motivating force cues to a person with stroke and reduced compensatory behaviour while steering. He also led the VA development of the TiltCycle, a servomotor device use in neurophysiology research to study lower-limb function in both healthy and post-stroke subjects.

Currently at UBC, his current research focuses on human-robot interaction in rehabilitation, with one project in upper limb stroke therapy at present. Two other disability-related projects that employ robotics involve Master’s and PhD students and co-supervisors in Kinesiology and Physical Therapy: 1) a sit-to-stand test bed project focusing on problems common with frail, older persons and 2) a large robot motion base used to study the neurophysiology of balance and balance impairments.

Publications:  Dr. Van der Loos has 33 journal papers, 90 full-length, refereed conference papers and 3 co-authored book chapters.  He has co-edited 2 special issues in professional robotics publications.

Professional Service:  Annually, Dr. Van der Loos reviews about 10 journal and conference papers and 2-4 grants for numerous Canadian, US and European federal funding agencies. He is North American Co-chair of the IEEE-RAS Technical Committee on Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics and sits on the Steering Committees of ICORR and RO-MAN, two IEEE-sponsored conferences. He is Co-Chair of the ICORR’2013 conference to be held in Seattle and Vancouver in June, 2013.