About me...

I carried out my PhD in Neuroprosthesis Control at the Automatic Control Lab at ETH Zurich, supervised by Prof M Morari, and in very close collaboration with the Centre for Neuroprosthetics at EPFL, Lausanne - Translational Neural Engineering Lab (Prof S Micera) and Courtine Lab, or G-lab (Prof G Courtine).

As part of the EU-funded FP7 project NEUWalk, my work focused on the development of adaptive spinal-cord stimulation paradigms with the aim to optimise gait neurorehabilitation after spinal cord injury.

I used real-time monitoring of gait patterns, combined with neuro-biomechanical computational modeling, to design targetted, closed-loop stimulation approaches capable of adapting to the ongoing performance of each subject.
Experimental tests in various rodent models of SCI showed the benefits of personalising spinal-cord stimulation to maximise gait quality, weight bearing and endurance. CIosed-loop strategies enabled paralysed rats to perform more than 1000 continuous steps without failure on a treadmill, and to climb stairs. They further allowed correcting asymmetries and maximising locomotor performance during rehabilitation with an unexpected level of precision .

In addition, I worked on the development of a brain-spinal interface, which allowed to reconnect spinal and cortical circuits through an artifical by-pass around the injury site in non-human primates.
This brain-controlled neuromodulation therapy restored mobility of the paralysed limb within days of implantation. Similar technology is currently being employed in the framework of a clinical trial on patients, with extremely promising preliminary results that assert the clinical suitability of these methodologies.

 

Keywords: Spinal Neuromodulation, Brain Spinal Interface, Leg Motor Control, Rehabilitation

   

Previous research Experience...

A.I. for Space

Previously, I worked as a Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) in Artificial Intelligence and NeuroInformatics at the European Space Agency's Advanced Concepts Team in Noordwijk, Netherlands. I was involved in several projects dealing with Robotics, A.I. and bioengineering, together with Dr Dario Izzo, Dr Tobias Seidl and Dr Christos Ampatzis. Among others, we carried out studies on how to clone human curiosity into autonomous agents, we organised an international conference on the use of BMIs in space for increasing astonaut capabilities , and explored biomimetic navigation strategies to improve efficient planet exploration by rovers.

In addition, the ESA Advanced Concepts Team was accepted as mentoring organisation for the 2010 Google Summer of Code (GSoC) on its Open Software 'PaGMO' (Parallel Global Multiobjective Optimizer). I took part as mentor for an A.I. project that aimed to combine the optimisation capabilities offered by PaGMO with evolutionary robotics paradigms: evolving walking behaviors in a low-gravity environment... Check out the evolution and results of the Alife on asteroids project!

 

...Have a look at the description of our group on the ESA Official Bulletin from November 2010 (pages 36 and onwards) pdf

Neuromorphic olfaction

Prior to that, I spent one year working as Associate Engineer at INRIA (the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control), within the research project 'Cortex: neuromimetic intelligence'. Together with Dr. Dominique Martinez, we evaluated robotic navigation strategies for scent tracking and odor source localisation. We showed that infotactic strategies, based on information maximisation, are robust and highly efficient even when implemented in a real robot under turbulent conditions, where cues are scarse and information unrealiable. Biomimetic characteristics were also preserved.

...Academic training

I obtained my MSc Degree (Dist. awarded) in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics from Edinburgh University. For my thesis, I worked with Dr Ian Saunders and Prof Sethu Vijayakumar on the role of artificial feedback in prosthesis control, and how it is employed by people in conjunction with their natural senses to manipulate a fully articulated prosthetic hand (see: i-limb description).

I previously obtained a joint Engineering Degree from Ecole des Mines ParisTech, France ('Grande Ecole' Program, minor in Control Systems) and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain (Electrical and Computer Engineering). I carried out my Final Year Research Project in the Computational Neuroscience Lab at ATR International (Japan), where I worked with Dr. Joshua Hale and Dr. Gordon Cheng in humanoid robotics simulation and control. The project studied ground contact in biped locomotion, and in particular how to model the ground reaction forces that sustain the body in a dynamics simulator for humanoid robots, and then validate their distribution during several biped tasks with respect to real humans.

This project was awarded the 1st prize by the French Embassy in Spain to the best research project carried out within a Double Degree programme between Spain and France... see the interview and news description! (sorry in Spanish)

  CalvinBrain

Eduardo Martin Moraud 2017. All rights reserved