The “Laboratoire d’Automatique, de Mécanique et d’Informatique industrielles et Humaines” (LAMIH UMR CNRS 8201) of the University of Valenciennes (France) (http://www.univ-valenciennes.fr/LAMIH/) is looking for a highly motivated individual for a Doctoral research fellowship in biomechanics.
Program Title
Self-balancing transport vehicle for handicapped person in standing position with support for verticalization (VHIPOD Project)

Scientific context
Dependence (5th risk) is a major issue in our societies. This risk is related to several simultaneous phenomena: an aging population, increasing life expectancy, aging populations with disabilities, obesity, increased frequency of disabling disease with age, etc.. The inability to move is a component of dependency. Currently there is no appropriate solution to avoid sitting position in these circumstances and the sitting becomes permanent for those people who have partially or completely lost their standing or ability of ambulation. Loss of standing is responsible for direct (bone loss, pressure sores) or indirect (fractures, neurological disorders, social isolation) medical consequences. Maintain upright position as long as possible is an important goal for health. It is also an expectation of people living the loss of walking as a grieving and trying to walk anyway sometimes taking unnecessary risks. Several research projects are proposing to extend the capabilities of walking with support systems for ambulation. Many of them combine the functions of a walking aid in the form of robotic walkers to a navigation aid in the environment for people with intellectual deterioration. For stroke, the use of walkers is often impossible by the failure to grasp the handle on the paralyzed side (hemiplegia). This disease is the leading cause of motor disability in most industrialized countries. The VHIPOD project aims to create a new personal electric vehicle. Positioned between the walker and the wheelchair. The project aims to involve an aid to the sit to stand transition (and reverse). It should be used from any seat or any usual seating surface, the vehicle will transport the user in an upright position Inside and outside. The project brings together clinical and academic partners around BA Systems specialized in the design of robotic platforms and ADM concept specialized in the design and implementation of projects with the automotive industry and heavily involved in projects for electric vehicles. After a rapid preliminary selection of the possible solutions clinical partners (CEREMH and the rehabilitation center Kerpape) in collaboration with all partners will define the specifications. They will be involved throughout the development process of the device to validate the concepts through the continued integration of mechanical data that ADM will include in 3D virtual moke up and real moke up to be used for validation by users. Biomechanical constraints specific to people with hemiplegia will be considered. Important work of modelling will be performed to allow mechanical appropriate choices. Control laws of the device will be gradually adjusted to the biomechanical model of the sit to stand and reverse transitions from measurements made on a test bench. BA systems will take into account the mechanical and biomechanical constraints in the embodiment of the device and will do a permanent quality control with a cost adjustment to propose a marketable product in France on a financial initial basis of a sophisticated electric wheelchair. The project will be highly dependent on the technology experience of BA systems, ADM and LAMIH Valenciennes. The project coordinator (LaTIM Brest) has extensive experience in the field of disability and biomechanics of disabled subjects. The originality of this project is based on a conceptual change: loss of ability to walk does not require the use of a wheelchair.

Doctoral position and eligibility
He will conduct the analysis and biomechanical modeling in 2D and 3D of the sit to stand. He will conduct experiments at Valenciennes on healthy subjects and will participate to those in Brest on hemiplegics. He will develop and validate the processing algorithms of the measured data, and calculations of unobservable inputs. He must have good skills in analysis and biomechanical modeling of human movements. Complementary expertise in automatic mechanics and computer science will also be required. French language is not necessary.

Interested applicants should send a letter indicating their interest and experience, a CV, and copies of representative publications via e-mail to the contacts below.

Fellowship duration
36 months
Contacts

Prof. Philippe Pudlo, philippe.pudlo@univ-valenciennes.fr
LAMIH UMR CNRS 8201 - Université of Valenciennes, France

Prof. Olivier Rémy-Néris, olivier.remyneris@chu-brest.fr
Laboratoire de Traitement de l’Information Médicale INSERM U1101, Brest, France
CHRU de Brest, Hôpital Morvan, Service de Médecine Physique et de Réadaptation, Brest, France
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