Carlos A. Cifuentes is an associate professor of human-robot interaction at Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Before, he was an assistant professor in Colombia between 2016 and 2022-may with the School of Engineering, Science and Technology at Universidad del Rosario and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito (ECIJG), where he was also the Head of the Center for Biomechatronics. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES, Brazil), the University of Cauca, Universidad del Rosario, EPF Graduate School of Engineering and Plymouth University. Before that, he was a post-doc at UFES (2015). He is broadly interested in human-robot interaction and rehabilitation robotics.

He was born in Bogota, Colombia. In 2004, he received a BSc degree in Electronic Engineering from ECIJG, where he received a grade of honour and was awarded 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 and robotics. In 2011, he obtained his M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the National University of Entre Rios, Argentina. His master’s dissertation was lauded as one of “10 finalists 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 a PhD degree. He developed a part of his thesis at the Automation Institute (UNSJ, Argentina) and at the Neural and Cognitive Engineering group, CAR (UPM-CSIC, Spain). His PhD thesis (2015) for which he received the Honorable Mention Award CAPES as one of Brazil's best theses in 2016. This thesis was focused on developing a multimodal human-robot interface that provides a means of testing and validating control strategies for robotic walkers to assist human mobility and gait rehabilitation. Springer published this thesis as part of The Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (2016). 

In 2017, his work was lauded as one of the “five history-changing ideas in Latin America" by the History Channel. In 2020, he was elevated to the IEEE Senior member grade, an honour bestowed by his significant contributions to the profession. In 2021, one of his open-source robotic creations was the finalist at the ICSR Robot Design Competition. He published his second book with Springer and was appointed Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine (RAM, IF 5.143).

His research on Human-Robot Interaction is world-leading, and his team’s research has conclusively shown the benefits of using robots in a healthcare context. Funding agencies such as the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng, UK), Ibero-American Programme on Science and Technology for Development (CYTED) and Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (Minciencias, Colombia) present his research as a funding success.



Interfacing Humans and Robots for Gait Assistance and Rehabilitation, 2021 (Co-author: Prof Dr. Marcela Múnera)

The concepts represented in this textbook are explored for the first time in assistive and rehabilitation robotics, which is the combination of physical, cognitive, and social human-robot interaction to empower gait rehabilitation and assist human mobility. The aim is to consolidate the methodologies, modules, and technologies implemented in lower-limb exoskeletons, smart walkers, and social robots when human gait assistance and rehabilitation are the primary targets. 

This book presents the combination of emergent technologies in healthcare applications and robotics science, such as soft robotics, force control, novel sensing methods, brain-computer interfaces, serious games, automatic learning, and motion planning. From the clinical perspective, case studies are presented for testing and evaluating how those robots interact with humans, analyzing acceptance, perception, biomechanics factors, and physiological mechanisms of recovery during the robotic assistance or therapy. 

Interfacing Humans and Robots for Gait Assistance and Rehabilitation will enable undergraduate and graduate students of biomedical engineering, rehabilitation engineering, robotics, and health sciences to understand the clinical needs, technology, and science of human-robot interaction behind robotic devices for rehabilitation, and the evidence and implications related to the implementation of those devices in actual therapy and daily life applications. 

Human-Robot Interaction Strategies for Walker-Assisted Locomotion, 2016 (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.


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