Research Projects

Rehabilitation Robotics

My particular interest is focusing within the field of building intelligent robotic systems that can provide an opportunity to improve the quality of life for people with limb disabilities or impairments caused by a severe injury or accident. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) currently funds this research.

I have developed an intelligent user-friendly therapeutic robotic system based on the anthropometry of the stroke population.  Health Canada has approved the system as a new classII medical device in Canada for investigational trial. Between January 2008 and June 2009 and for the first time in Canada, a randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT) with 19 patients with a diagnosis of stroke was conducted at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to evaluate the clinical utility of our current therapeutic robotic system with individuals admitted to an inpatient stroke unit. They were randomly allocated into two groups, experimental group (robotic arm therapy) and control group (conventional therapy). Results from this clinical trail indicate that the robotic arm therapy alone, i.e., without additional physical therapy interventions tailored to the paretic arm, was at least as effective and in some cases, more effective than standard physiotherapy treatment.

Improve the Performance of Dry-type Transformers

The project aims to build an accurate 2D thermal model and examines thermal behaviours for large ventilated dry-type power transformers using finite element analysis. The developed model is able to calculate the temperature distribution within windings in a steady-state condition, as well as predicts the temperature variations in a time-varying condition. The temperature analysis has been conducted under various operating conditions. The hottest temperature spots and their locations will be predicted through the analysis of magnetic flux distribution and material properties. This project will give the industry a new platform for calculating thermal behaviour of dry type power transformers. We have developed and tested a novel model for the prediction of the hottest temperature spots on a 2000kVA dry-type transformer. With more accurate estimations of the temperature distributions, there will be more aid with optimising designs and enhancing product quality to satisfy the market needs in Canada, North America and worldwide.

Intelligent Real-time Robotic System for Automation of Greenhouse Operations:

Canada has a significant and growing greenhouse industry that almost doubled in the last ten years. There are currently around 2000 acres of greenhouse operations in Canada. Crops developed within greenhouses vary from flowers to vegetables and fruits. Greenhouse operations are known to be labour intensive. The objective of this research is to develop an intelligent robotics technology that has significant functional capabilities relevant to a wide range of greenhouse operators. The main challenges are accuracy, cycle time, and cost. The robotics system must be able to perform various tasks at the same accuracy and speed of manual labour but at a cost that is reasonable for a typical greenhouse farmer. This research is supported by several industrial partners, the Ontario centers of excellence, and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.