Prof. Padir has been awarded a grant of $400,000 from the National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Physical Systems program. “Holistic Design Methodology for Automated Implementation of Human-in-the-Loop Cyber-Physical Systems” is a collaborative project with Northeastern University Professors Gunar Schirner, Deniz Erdogmus, Kaushik Chowdhury and Prof. Padir with a total budget of $1.65 million.

This project develops a framework for design automation of cyber-physical systems that augment human interaction with complex systems that integrate across computational and physical environments. As a design driver, this project develops a Body/Brain Computer Interface (BBCI) for the population of functionally locked-in individuals, who are unable to interact with the physical world through movement and speech. The BBCI will enable communication with other humans through expressive language generation and interaction with the environment through robotic manipulators.

Utilizing advances in system-level design, this project will develop a holistic framework for design and implementation of heterogeneous human-in-the-loop cyber-physical systems composed of physically distributed, networked components. It will advance BBCI technology by incorporating context aware inference and learning of task-specific human intent estimation in applications involving semi-autonomous robotic actuators and an efficient wireless communication framework. In result, the proposed work will significantly speed up the design of complex cyber-physical systems. By accelerating the path from idea to prototype, this project shortens the time frame of development leading to rapid improvement of quality-of-life for functionally locked-in individuals.

This project establishes an open prototyping platform and a design framework for rapid exploration of novel human-in-the-loop applications. The open platform will foster undergraduate involvement in cyber-physical systems research, building confidence and expertise. In addition, new activities at the Museum of Science in Boston will engage visitors to experiment with systematic design principles in context of a brain computer interface application, while offering learning opportunities about basic brain functions.

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