IRIM Robotics Seminar—Warren Dixon

The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines presents “Cyber Human Interaction: A Control Systems/Robotics Perspective on Functional Electrical Stimulation” by Warren Dixon of the University of Florida. The event will be held in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and is open to the public.


Application of an electric field across skeletal muscle causes muscle contractions that produce limb movement. Clinicians have long prescribed electrical stimulation as a means to strengthen muscle; however, clinicians have had a growing interest in electrical stimulation to evoke coordinated limb motions for functional tasks such as cycling. Motivation for such a cybernetic system includes advanced rehabilitative outcomes (i.e., neuroplasticity and restoration of function) for individuals with neurological disorders. A challenge to developing these outcomes is that muscle activation dynamics are uncertain and nonlinear, and the dynamics of limb motion also require the coordinated switching among multiple muscle groups. Moreover, artificial stimulation of the muscle is highly inefficient, leading to rapid muscle fatigue, which can limit the therapeutic outcomes. This talk focuses on how perspectives from and advances in robotics/automation/control systems can be used to overcome these challenges. Underlying theories and experimental results for various closed-loop electrical stimulation methods will be described, including recent advances in cybernetic cycling where a robotic bicycle is combined with an electrically stimulated person to facilitate various rehabilitative objectives.


Warren Dixon received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Clemson University. After graduation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) selected him for a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow, and he worked at ORNL for four years. In 2004, he joined the University of Florida in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department.

Dixon’s main research interest has been the development and application of Lyapunov-based control techniques for uncertain nonlinear systems. He has published three books, an edited collection, more than a dozen chapters, and approximately 140 journal and 240 conference papers.

In addition to the American Automatic Control Council (AACC) recognizing his work in 2009 and 2015, Dixon has received numerous other awards and honors. He received an O. Hugo Schuck (Best Paper) Award, the 2013 Fred Ellersick Award for Best Overall MILCOM Paper, a 2012-2013 University of Florida College of Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award, and the 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Dynamics Systems and Control Division Outstanding Young Investigator Award.

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) awarded Dixon the Early Academic Career Award in 2006. He also received an NSF CAREER Award (2006-2011), the 2004 Department of Energy Outstanding Mentor Award, and the 2001 ORNL Early Career Award for Engineering Achievement.

Dixon is an ASME Fellow and IEEE Fellow, an IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) Distinguished Lecturer, and he served as the director of operations for the Executive Committee of the IEEE CSS Board of Governors (2012-2015). For his service to the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board (2012-2016), he was awarded the Air Force Commander’s Public Service Award.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, October 4, 2017
    12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: Marcus Nano Bldg., Rooms 1116-1118

For More Information Contact

Josie Giles
IRIM Marketing Communications Manager