The Mechatronics and Robotics Research Lab (MRRL) at University of Massachusetts Amherts

University of Massachusets Amherst Mechatronics and Robotics Research Lab - Bringing humans and machines together!

Mechatronics Robotics and Research Lab

The Mechatronics and Robotics Research Laboratory (MRRL) at the University of Massachusetts conducts top-notch research and testing on a robotic prosthesis to help amputees regain the ability to feel and operate a limb.

With the goal of optimizing human performance through mechatronics, this lab is on the forefront of developing technology and research to advance human-machine interactions. 

Before we get into the nuts and can help them gather data and improve their research on the robotic ankle prosthesis for lower limb amputees. 

For more information, click here.

OK back to MRRL....

And yes you can dream about cyborgs...go ahead and dream..

Cyborg Mechatronics Robotics

The idea of lower limb prosthesis has been around for a very long time however there have not been much progress in the development of this technology. Unfortunately, 1 in 500 people in the US have had a lower limb amputated.

The superstars at MRRL took up the challenge and have produced outstanding work that will improve the lives and regain lost abilities of millions of people around the world for years to come.

A few examples of brilliant work from MRRL include:

Umass Exbow

The educational elbow exoskeleton was developed to get high school students interested in STEM. The Exbow is a great way to get students to learn physics, circuit design, Arduino Microcontrollers and human biomechanics.

Exbow Mechatronics Robotics and Research Lab

Intent recognition Human Robot Interaction

A smart robot that can help you carry objects and knows your next move. The Hidden Markov Model (HMM) is used to predict human intent in rotation and movement. A KUKA LBR Iwa 14 R820 seven degree of freedom robot was used in this project. 

Haptic Mouse

The Haptic Mouse is a physically interactive surface robot that can project digital interactions into the real world. Its something like the PlayStation and Xbox controller vibration during a game but much more complex.

The mouse allows users to feel boundaries and roughness of virtual objects In a screen or game. The potential applications include gaming, virtual reality and touchscreen accessibility for the disabled.

A robotics lab without a leader is not a robotics lab and is merely just a room somewhere on campus. So let us honorably  introduce the director of the Mechatronics and Robotics Research Lab, Dr. Frank C Sup IV.


Here is an all smiles picture of him with the Asimo Robot from Honda. You can tell by the white teeth that Asimo is also having a great time.

From his humble beginnings as a summer engineering Intern at Baxter International, Dr. Sup has maintained his vision of saving and improving lives of others.

He was also a principal scientist for Honda Robotics and have over the years developed skills in mechatronics while combining it with his vision of helping people.

Under his direction, the MRRL have developed skilled persons in the realm of merging humans with machines. 

The Unsung Heroes

One of the skilled product of MRRL is Dr. Vinh Nguyen who is currently working with Ghost Robotics.

Also not to forget the hard working research graduates at MRRL such as Julio Aparicio who is currently working on soft sensors in medical applications.

Mark Price who is a PhD  candidate who helped design the Haptic Mouse we saw earlier.

Ericber Jiminez Francisco who is developing a smart knee brace for Osteoarthritis patience. He was also recently featured in the UMass Mechanical Engineering fall 2019 newsletter.

Last but not least is Soumitra Sitole, a mechanical engineering graduate and roboticist who will gladly collaborate with other roboticists on fascinating projects. He is currently developing research on sensor integration and motion capture prosthesis.

These are the champions of our time in the realm of human robotics and prosthetics. What they create is awesome and the benefit of their work is intangible and will bring very good feelings to many people.

Clearly we can see MRRL superstars working diligently to bring advances in medical robotics and we wish them the best and thank them for helping people..those who were once fallen can have another chance and become superhumans.

We leave you with an inspiring video of the Cybathlon. The superhumans are here.

And also the inspiring Panasonic Exoskeletons. A very powerful message to show the power of increasing human strength with robotics.


We do not own the rights to images and videos used in this article.

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