PhD PROJECT: PRo-ACT – Passive Robotics for Accelerated Collaborative Therapy

Supervisor/School contact: Dr. Peter Cumber

School of Mechanical Engineering (

0113 3432141 

Closing date: 5 August 2013 

This  PhD project will develop a novel passive robotic system for next-generation home-based upper limb rehabilitation. 

Robotic systems have huge potential in meeting the growing rehabilitation needs of aging populations and resource limited healthcare systems; they enable precise control and measurement of interaction with human participants. Despite the rapid growth of the research field, few systems have been commercialised for routine clinical use – barriers to uptake include complexity, high costs and the use of ‘active’ robotic systems that generate motive forces and are thus limited to supervised medical establishments. 

The project will develop a human-collaborative robot (‘CoBoT’) system for upper limb therapy in the home – targeting unmet clinical need, developing novel mechatronic and control engineering and evaluating the work in experimental studies. 

The project’s novelty and impact spans robotics, control engineering and human-factors studies:

  • developing a passive mechatronic system to guides the motive effort of the patient’s upper limb
  • implementing control algorithms for motor learning in a passive mechatronic system
  • experimental assessment in human studies (in collaboration with Inst. Psych. Sciences) 

This studentship covers fees of £3,950 and maintenance at the rate of £13,726 per year for 3.5 years. 

Due to funding restrictions this studentship is open to UK/EU students only. 

This scholarship will begin from September/October 2013 and run for 42 months 

How to apply: 

Formal applications for research degree study should be made on-line through the University’s website.  Please state clearly on the funding section of the application form that you wish to be considered for the “PRo-ACT – Passive Robotics for Accelerated Collaborative Therapy”.  In the research information section please use the name Dr. Peter Culmer.

 For the research degree of study application, please upload all the documents required as soon as possible. Scanned copies are acceptable though you will need to provide originals or certified copies at registration. These will include your degree certificate(s), transcripts of marks achieved in previous degrees, plus evidence of English language qualifications if your first language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an English-speaking country. Please do not provide school certificates, or non-academic certificates.The Faculty will contact your named academic referees directly. 

If you have any questions please contact our Graduate School Office.
t: +44 (0)113 343 8000 

Minimum academic requirements: This PhD project requires an engineer who enjoys hands-on development of new mechanical and mechatronic systems, together with the ability to work effectively in a team environment with people from different disciplines.

We are seeking someone with the following:  

  • A strong engineering degree (minimum 2:1 level)
  • Evidence of good CAD / Design engineering skills
  • Experience of engineering computing + data acquisition (e.g. using LabVIEW)
  • Skills in control engineering
  • The ability to work in a team-based multi-disciplinary environment (e.g. with clinicians, psychologists) 

If your first language is not English you will be required to satisfy the University of Leeds English language requirement prior to commencing your studies.

Also Read  NERC Studentships x 2

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