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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W036495/1
Title: MUlti-limb Virtual Environment (MUVE) for full body and augmented interactions
Principal Investigator: Burdet, Professor E
Other Investigators:
Nanayakkara, Professor T Vaidyanathan, Professor R Faisal, Professor A
Bull, Professor AMJ Rojas, Dr N Taghavi, Dr M
Gallego, Dr J Bentley, Dr P Rodriguez y Baena, Professor FM
McGregor, Professor A Kedgley, Dr AE Farina, Professor D
Van Zalk, Dr N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Bioengineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2022 Ends: 30 September 2024 Value (£): 1,027,493
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomechanics & Rehabilitation Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
Robotics & Autonomy Vision & Senses - ICT appl.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Apr 2022 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel March 2022 - Panel 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The MUlti-limb Virtual Environment (MUVE) is a first-of-its-kind system housed in the Human Interface Laboratory of Imperial College that enables to study the interaction of human natural limbs with robotic limbs. The robotic limbs can be worn (physically or virtually) by the human user and/or can act externally on them while MUVE yields physical, visual, auditive, and haptic interactions. For this purpose, MUVE combines (i) the most advanced treadmill based virtual reality motion suite currently available, with (ii) two robotic interfaces to smoothly interact with the arms, (iii) up to four wearable robotic arms for movement augmentation, and (iv) dedicated sensorimotor interfaces from the Human Interface lab, including instrumented objects, soft sensors and exoskeletons, advanced prostheses, high-density EMG and non-invasive neural interfaces.

This highly versatile system can be used to train tasks combining locomotion with upper-body and arm movements in physical rehabilitation, sport, or for maintenance in manufacturing and field work. It can embody movement augmentation through supernumerary wearable robotic arms (aka Dr. Octopus) for developing novel applications ranging from robotic surgery (with robotic limbs to control additional tools) to lone working (in remote locations/constrained environments). It can also be used as a development system for ergonomics testing of active exoskeletons for automotive industry workers or for supporting healthy ageing. Finally, it offers opportunities to develop new metaverse approaches with physical interaction, e.g. to provide assistance to and social interaction with elderly, or to embody virtual patients for telemedical applications.

The MUVE system is accessible to researchers and companies in the UK and globally. It is housed in Imperial's new White City campus, within a rich ecosystem of research and translation in human technologies. MUVE will allow the development of fundamentally new applications in physical rehabilitation, robotic surgery, teleoperation, ergonomics, and novel interfaces for communication technology. It will also enable researchers to systematically investigate how the central nervous system coordinates the limbs for high skill and movement restoration, as well as its potential for controlling extra degrees-of-freedom - which are open fundamental neuroscientific questions.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk