Homayoon Kazerooni, Ph.D.


Homayoon Kazerooni, Ph.D.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of California at Berkeley, USA

Brief Biography

Dr. Kazerooni is the director of the Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory and also the Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Berkeley Bionics. The Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory is also affectionately known as "KAZ LAB".

Dr. Kazerooni’s work focuses on the control of human-machine systems specific to lower human extremities. After developing BLEEX, ExoHiker, and ExoClimber – three super-light, load-carrying exoskeletons – Berkeley Bionics and his team created HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier). It is the first energetically-autonomous, orthotic, lower extremity exoskeleton, providing the ability for its user to carry 200-pound weights over any sort of terrain for an extended period of time without undue effort.

Prior to his research work on lower extremity exoskeletons, Dr. Kazerooni led his team to successfully develop robotics systems that enhance human upper extremity strength. The results of this work led to a new class of intelligent assist devices currently being used by workers worldwide for manipulating heavy objects in distribution centers and factories. Dr. Kazerooni has also been conducting research on human performance in coordinated haptic-visual virtual environments under several contracts from NASA. Other research interests are biomimetic design, haptics, non-linear control systems, embedded systems, networked control systems, power regeneration, monopropellant and portable energy generation methods for mobile platforms.

Early in his career, Dr. Kazerooni was a recipient of the outstanding ASME Investigator Award, and has also won Discover Magazine’s Technological Innovation Award, and the McKnight-Land Grant Professorship. His research was recognized as the most innovative technology of the year in New York Times Magazine. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in the robotics community notably editor of two journals: ASME Journal of Dynamics Systems and Control and IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics.

Dr. Kazerooni holds a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachussets Institute of Technology and has over 30 years of mechanical engineering experience. He has published more than two hundred articles, delivered over 70 plenary lectures in the U.S. and internationally, and holds seventeen pertinent patents. As a noted authority on robotics, he is frequently profiled and quoted in the media.

New Developments for Lower Extremity Exoskeleton Systems at the University of California, Berkeley

Our objective at Berkeley is to create a set of advanced technologies that form the framework for developing accessible exoskeleton systems for people with mobility disorders. Our research work is not about creating “walking” capability only; it is about fostering “independence”.  In addition to walking, there are many maneuvers a person with limited mobility needs to carry out for independence at home and work during a day.  For widespread use, exoskeletons must be accessible. The medical wearable robotic exoskeletons allow people with paraplegia or other mobility disorders to be upright and mobile, preventing secondary diseases and enhancing their quality of life. These systems will be used for in-home care and everyday use, as well as within hospitals and rehabilitation centers. The industrial wearable robotic systems minimize spinal compression forces of workers who repeat various maneuvers on the job. These devices will be used in auto assembly plants, factories, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, warehouses, and delivery services. These systems decrease the severity and number of work-related injuries, while enhancing worker safety.  The quest to develop accessible exoskeleton orthotic systems suggests less hardware while placing more emphasis on the intelligence and cleverness during both the design stage and the device operation.  This talk will describe new engineering developments to realize accessible exoskeleton systems.