Robotics and Bioengineering Researcher






Short Bio

Carlos Andrés Cifuentes García is a Professor with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Head of Center for Biomechatronics at Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito (ECIJG-Colombia). He has been Visiting Professor at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, University of Cauca and Plymouth University. Prior to that, he was a postdoc at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES-Brazil). He is broadly interested in human-robot interaction and rehabilitation robotics in the context of developing countries.
He was born in Bogota, Colombia. In 2004, he received the BSc degree in Electronic Engineering from ECIJG, where he received the grade of honor, awarded to the highest GPA of his class. He received his Specialization in Project Management in 2006 at ECIJG. From 2006 to 2011 he worked as an entrepreneur and teaching assistant in the field of embedded systems.
In 2011, he obtained his M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos, Argentina. His master’s dissertation was lauded as one of “10 finalist at the Make It Challenge: Kinetis MCUs Americas" by Freescale semiconductors.
In 2012, he joined the Robotics and Industrial Automation Group at UFES to pursue the Ph.D. degree. He developed a part of his thesis at Automation Institute, (UNSJ-Argentina) and at Neural and Cognitive Engineering group, CAR, (UPM-CSIC-Spain). His Ph.D. thesis (2015), for which he received the Honorable Mention Award CAPES as one of the best theses in 2016 in Brazil, focused on development a multimodal human-robot interface that provides a means of testing and validating control strategies for robotic walkers for assisting human mobility and gait rehabilitation. In 2017 his work was lauded as one of “five history-changing ideas in Latin America" by History Channel.

Research projects

  1. 2018-20: Royal Academy of Engineering - Industry-Academia Partnership Programme Colombia/UK(IAPP1\100126), CASTOR: CompliAnt SofT Robotics.
  2. 2017-18: Royal Academy of Engineering - Frontiers of Engineering - Seed fund round 3 (FoESF1718\3\2), Development of an affordable hand prosthesis.
  3. 2018-20: Colciencias Colombia – Call for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health 2017 (122077758499), Development of an Adaptable Robotic Platform for Gait Rehabilitation and Assistance AGoRA
  4. 2018-20: Colciencias Colombia – Call for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health 2017 (277877758389), Evaluation of the impact of the intervention of a social robot on the cardiovascular responses of patients in the Cardiac Rehabilitation program of the Fundación Cardioinfantil-Instituto de Cardiología SORCAR
  5. 2016-18: Royal Academy of Engineering - Industry-Academia Partnership Programme Colombia/UK(IAPP\1516\137), Human-Robot Interaction Strategies for Rehabilitation based on Socially Assistive Robotics.
  6. 2016-18: Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito Research Funds, Project Eksowalker - Adaptive robotic platform for gait rehabilitation and assistance of based on the integration of an active exoskeleton and a robotic walker.
  7. 2016-18: Fostering international cooperation N°03/2016–SRI/PRPPG/UFES, (Federal University of Espiritu Santo - Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito) Human- Environment Interaction Strategies for Walker-Assisted Gait.
  8. 2016-19: Ibero-American Research Network (Cyted 216RT0504), Rehabilitation and assistance of patients with neurologicalimpairments by means of affordable robotic exoskeletons.
  9. 2017: Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito Research Funds, Evaluation of biomechanical parameters in walker assisted gait.
  10. 2017: Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito Research Funds, Development of a navigation interface for mobile assistance devices.
  11. 2017: Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito Research Funds, Evaluation of biomechanical parameters in exoskeleton assisted gait.
  12. 2015: FAPES-Brazil, Human-Robot Interaction Strategies for Assistive Locomotion. 

  13. 2014-17: Spanish Council for Scientific Research, CPWalker: RoboticPlatform for Gait Rehabilitation and Training in Patients with Cerebral Palsy.

  14. 2013-15: CNPq-Brazil, Development of a Robotic Platform for Rehabilitation Based on Exoskeleton- Walker Fusion. 

  15. 2012-15: FAPES-Brazil, Development of a ZigBee Sensor Network for Lower-Limb Rehabilitation Assessment.
  16. 2011: Freescale Semiconductor-USA, Sensor-based Biomechanical Kinematics Monitoring System for Physical Rehabilitation. 

Doctoral thesis

Human-Robot Interaction Strategies for Walker-Assisted Locomotion (Advisor: Prof Dr. Anselmo Frizera)
Different types of pathologies may affect human mobility. It is also known that human capacities in mobility decrease gradually with age. In this scenario, walkers present important benefits for human mobility, improving balance and reducing the load on their lower limbs. Most importantly, walkers induce the use of residual mobility capacities of the user in generic environments. 
This doctoral thesis presents a multimodal human-robot interface that provides a means of testing and validating control strategies for robotic walkers for assisting the human mobility and gait rehabilitation. This interface extracts navigation intentions from a novel sensor fusion strategy that combines a LRF (Laser Range Finder) sensor to estimate the users legs' kinematics from the walker, along with wearable IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) sensors to capture the human orientation. At the same time, force sensors measure the interaction forces between the human and the walker.
(Book) An improved version of this thesis was published in Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics 
This book presents the development of a new multimodal human-robot interface for testing and validating control strategies applied to robotic walkers for assisting human mobility and gait rehabilitation. The aim is to achieve a closer interaction between the robotic device and the individual, empowering the rehabilitation potential of such devices in clinical applications. A new multimodal human-robot interface for testing and validating control strategies applied to robotic walkers for assisting human mobility and gait rehabilitation is presented. Trends and opportunities for future advances in the field of assistive locomotion via the development of hybrid solutions based on the combination of smart walkers and biomechatronic exoskeletons are also discussed.