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Robert D. Gregg, IV

Assistant Professor
Director, Locomotor Control Systems Lab
Department of Bioengineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Texas at Dallas

I received the B.S. degree (2006) in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley and the M.S. (2007) and Ph.D. (2010) degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Locomotor Control Systems Laboratory at the University of Texas at Dallas. I was previously a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and an Engineering into Medicine Fellow at Northwestern University. My research concerns the control mechanisms of human locomotion with application to both wearable and autonomous robots. Research Summary.  Curriculum Vitae

My research aims to develop high-performance wearable control systems to enable mobility and improve quality of life for persons with disabilities. Estimates indicate that by 2050 the U.S. will incur a two-fold increase in the incidence of amputation and stroke, due largely to the prevalence of vascular disease. These disabilities severely limit mobility and social activity for millions of Americans, whose ambulation is slower, less stable, and less efficient than that of able-bodied persons. Recent robotic prostheses and orthoses have the potential to restore mobility in impaired populations, but critical barriers in control technology currently limit their performance and clinical practicality. On the other hand, recent bipedal robots can stably walk, run, and climb stairs with one control model that drives joint patterns as functions of a single mechanical variable, which continuously represents the robotís progression through the gait cycle, i.e., a sense of phase. My research attempts to leverage these breakthroughs to transform prosthetic and orthotic technology with a paradigm shift in how the human gait cycle is viewed: as a function of a phase variable rather than time. This work will enable the design of wearable robots with a single control model that measures a biologically-inspired phase variable to match the humanís volitional movement and respond to perturbations. Central to this challenge is a fundamental gap in knowledge between disciplines about how the human neuromuscular system might maintain a sense of phase and subsequently control locomotion. My current research aims to address this gap by 1) identifying biomechanical phase variables used in human locomotion, and 2) designing and experimentally validating phase-based control models on robotic prostheses and orthoses. Through this needs-driven work I hope to establish a new field of inquiry at the scientific interface between robot control theory and physical rehabilitation to enable mobility in impaired populations.

  • 9/30/13: I was awarded the 2013 NIH Director's New Innovator Award ($1.5 million over 5 years) for research in robotic prostheses and orthoses!
  • 9/24/13: Visit the new website of the Locomotor Control Systems Laboratory.
  • 4/24/13: New papers on lower-limb prosthetic control to appear in the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 2013 American Control Conf., and 2013 Int. Conf. on Rehabilitation Robotics.
  • 9/05/12: I am climbing the Sears/Willis Tower to raise funds for the patients of RIC.
  • 7/26/12: Check out my recent interview with Nature!
  • 5/18/12: Many thanks to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund for supporting my research vision with a $500,000 Career Award at the Scientific Interface!
Control of Robot-Assisted Walking Geometric Control of 3D Dynamic Walking
Mechanics of Gait Asymmetry Planning with Asymptotically Stable Motion Primitives
Research Interests
  • Design and control of lower-limb prostheses and orthoses
  • Neural control mechanisms of human locomotion
  • Modeling and control of dynamic walking
  • Nonlinear control, including energy-, passivity-, and symmetry-based methods
Personal Interests

Outside of the office, I can often be found on the ice playing in the local hockey leagues. I also enjoy watching Cal football, Angels baseball, and Ducks hockey whenever they are televised locally. However, most of my free time is now dedicated to a dog named Oskee.


E-mail: rgregg AT utdallas DOT edu
Phone: 972-883-4657
Office: ECSN 3.202
Faculty Profile
YouTube Channel
Vimeo Channel

Mailing Address:
800 West Campbell Road
Mailstop: EC-39
Richardson, TX 75080-3021

Note to Prospective Students: If interested in research opportunities, e-mail Prof. Gregg with a cover letter, resume/CV, and reference contact information as PDF attachments. Incomplete applications will not be considered. How to write a cover letter.

Be exciting, concise, and realistic. Hit these key points in three to four paragraphs:

1. For what position are you applying? Who are you? What is your mission statement?

2. What are you going to do and why is this the perfect place to do it?

3. Why are you the right person to do it?

4. Closing formalities & reference info.

Never go beyond one page!

© 2009-2013 Robert D. Gregg, IV