Functional Electrical Stimulation & Exoskeleton Integration

This project focuses on drawing from the strengths of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and Rehabilitation Exoskeletons to eliminate the inherent weaknesses from both. Pilot studies have shown that the combined control method greatly reduces exoskeleton torque requirements compared to exoskeleton control alone, and RMS error compared to FES alone.


Derek Wolf, Nathan Dunkelberger, Craig G. McDonald, Kyra Rudy, Christopher Beck, Marcia K. O’Malley, and Eric Schearer. Combining Functional Electrical Stimulation and a Powered Exoskeleton to Control Elbow Flexion. WeRob 2017. Houston, TX.

Language through Haptics

Using the MISSIVE, I created a protocol to teach people to understand the English language through haptics in 100 minutes of training. Participants learned 23 phonemes (unique sounds in the English language) and how to build them into words. In a final 50 word test, subjects correctly identified 86% of the words presented to them haptically.


N. Dunkelberger, Sullivan, J., Bradley, J., Walling, N. P., Manickam, I., Dasarathy, G., Israr, A., Lau, F. W. Y., Klumb, K., Knott, B., Abnousi, F., Baraniuk, R., and O'Malley, M. K.. Conveying Language Through Haptics, A Multi-sensory Approach. ISWC 2018. Singapore, Singapore.

Multi-sensory Haptics

Work on this project has been developing a Multi-sensory haptic device, the Multi-sensory Interface for Squeeze, Stretch, and Integrated Vibration Elements, or the MISSIVE. Studies have shown that utilizing the multi-sensory nature of the device increases the accuracy when compared to a similar uni-sensory haptic device made from vibrotactors. This has the potential to minimize contact surface area without sacrificing fidelity.


Nathan Dunkelberger, Joshua Bradley, Jennifer L. Sullivan, Ali Israr, Frances Lau, Keith Klumb, Freddy Abnousi, and Marcia K. O’Malley. Improving Perception Accuracy with Multi-sensory Haptic Cue Delivery. Eurohaptics 2018. Pisa, Italy.