Dr. Zohaib Aftab is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from UET Lahore in 2006 before leaving for France to pursue higher studies. He completed his Master’s in Automatic Systems and Robotics in 2009 from Ecole Centrale Nantes, France, while his Ph.D. research was focused on the Humanoid balance recovery control. During his stay abroad, he got the opportunity to work at renowned research institutes in Robotics and Control. He joined UCP in February 2013 and currently teaching the subjects of Machine Design and Mechanics of Machines to undergraduate students. He is also involved in several projects of Robotics and Control. His areas of specialization are Robotics, Exoskeletons, Rehabilitation, Legged locomotion, Control Engineering, Modeling and Simulation.
- Research Methodology & Project Management
- Robotics and Control
1. Development of a lower-body powered exoskeleton device for the disabled
Collaborators: CMH Lahore, ITU
The paralysis of a limb is a devastating incident in the life of a human being. This can be caused by various reasons, most common being spinal cord injuries and diseases like Poliomyelitis (commonly known as Polio or infantile paralysis). Most of these patients end up with the lower-body (below waist) paralysis and are confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. Our goal is to restore mobility in these patients by designing an exoskeleton device. An exoskeleton is a robotic-skeleton that externally attaches to a human body to provide support and strength. The structure is equipped with sensors and motors to predict human intention and provide support to the limb accordingly.
In this project, we focus on a cost-effective solution to restoring mobility by providing extra power to the limbs using electrical motors. We employ low-cost materials for the structure and off-the-shelf sensor modules and electronics. The resulting exoskeleton device shall enable the paralyzed people to walk again.
We have previously designed and fabricated 2 prototypes of the device at the University of Central Punjab, Lahore in collaboration with Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Lahore. The preliminary results were published (Asad Ali and Zohaib Aftab, IEEE ICRAI, Nust 2016). The device contains 11 degrees of freedom for both legs at ankle, knee and hip joints. The links are made with aluminum rods with adjustable leg lengths and hip size. We also developed a mathematical model of the device in Matlab. Several publications are in progress on the design and modeling aspects. Currently, the work is in progress for its instrumentation and actuation.
2. Development of a 4-legged cat-sized robot
We have developed a working prototype of a 4-legged compliant robot with 2DoFs per leg. The robot is capable of making walking gait. It contains 8 servo motors and is controlled using Arduino.
List of Publications
Zohaib Aftab, Thomas Robert and Pierre-Brice Wieber, Balance recovery prediction with multiple strategies for standing humans, PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151166. 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151166 (IF: 3.54, SJR: 1.4, h5-index: 166)
Zohaib Aftab, Thomas Robert and Pierre-Brice Wieber, Predicting Multiple Step Placements For Human Balance Recovery Tasks, Journal of Biomechanics, Elsevier (2012) 45(16), 2804-2809, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.08.038
(IF: 2.4, SJR: 1.23)
Zohaib Aftab, Thomas Robert and Pierre-Brice Wieber, Simulating the effect of Upper-body Inertia on Human Balance Recovery, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering (CMBBE), Taylor & Francis, Volume 15 (S1) 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10255842.2012.713653 (IF: 1.85)
Thomas Robert, Zohaib Aftab, Pierre-Brice Wieber, Simulation du rattrapage d’équilibre fortement perturbé (Simulating the biped balance under strong disturbances), Clinical Neurophysiology, Elsevier, Vol. 42, No. 6. 2012 (IF: 3.42, SJR: 1.58)
Romain Tisserand, Thomas Robert, Zohaib Aftab and Laurence Chèze, Un modèle de prédiction de la performance de rattrapage de l’équilibre perturbé pour la personne âgée, Neurophysiologie Clinique/ Clinical Neurophysiology, Elsevier, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2014 (IF: 3.42, SJR: 1.58)
Zohaib Aftab, Thomas Robert and Pierre-Brice Wieber, Ankle, hip and stepping strategies for humanoid balance recovery with a single Model Predictive Control scheme, Proceedings of IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids 2012), Japan, 2012 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6651514/
Asad Ali, Saif-ul-Majeed, Zaroon Shakeel and Zohaib Aftab, Design of a powered lower-body exoskeleton for walking assistance, Proceedings of International Conference on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (ICRAI), NUST, 2016
Hasan Habib, Ehasan ul Haq, Ahzlan Irfan and Zohaib Aftab, Mathematical Modeling and Simulation of wheeled humanoid Robot, International conference on Engineering and Emerging technologies (ICEET), Lahore, 2016
University of Central Punjab Faculty of Mechanical Engineering