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Eric Wolbrecht, Ph.D., P.E.

Eric Wolbrecht, Ph.D., P.E.

Associate Professor

Office

Engineering Physics 324P

Phone

208-885-0348

Mailing Address

Mechanical Engineering
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 0902
Moscow, Idaho 83844-0902

  • Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2007
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University, 1998
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Valparaiso University, 1996

  • Rehabilitation Robotics
  • Nonlinear and Adaptive Control
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Mechanism Design and Synthesis
  • Control of Pneumatic Actuators
  • State Estimation
  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Eric Wolbrecht is an associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Idaho. Wolbrecht received his doctorate in 2007 in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of California, Irvine. In August 2007 he became an assistant professor at the University of Idaho. His research has been focused on the design and control of robotic devices for rehabilitation after stroke, and on state estimation for localization and navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

Wolbrecht has been a principle contributor to the design and development multiple robotic devices for neurorehabilitation, including the upper extremity device “Pneu-WREX” and the Finger INdividuating Grasp Exercise Robot (FINGER) device for movement therapy of the index and middle fingers. The FINGER robot, designed and constructed at UI, has been used at UCI and the Wadsworth center in Albany, New York in collaboration with David Reinkensmeyer and Jonathon Wolpaw, respectively. Current rehabilitation robotics projects include the development of the Parallel Actuated Robotic Trainer for NEuroRehabilitation (PARTNER) and the development of a BiLateral Upper-extremity Exoskeleton for Simultaneous Assessment of Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Output (BLUE SABINO). Wolbrecht has also worked with an interdisciplinary research group at UI on the autonomous underwater vehicle research, primarily focused on state estimation for localization and navigation. Wolbrecht’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

In 2011, Wolbrecht received the Best Paper Award from the IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering for “Optimizing Compliant, Model-Based Robotic Assistance to Promote Neurorehabilitation,” which appeared in the journal in 2008. Wolbrecht was awarded the Presidential Mid-Career Award from the University of Idaho in 2015.

Wolbrecht teaches courses in experimental methods, dynamic systems, controls and robotics. Wolbrecht is a member of ASME and IEEE.

  • Ingemanson, L. M., Rowe, J. B., Chan, V., Wolbrecht, E., Cramer, S.C., and Reinkensmeyer, D.J., “Use of a robotic device to measure age-related decline in finger proprioception”, Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 234, No. 1, pp. 88-93, 2016.
  • Taheri, H., Rowe, J. B., Gardner, D., Chan, V., Gray, K., Bower, C., Reinkensmeyer, D. J., and Wolbrecht, E., “Design and Preliminary Evaluation of the FINGER Rehabilitation Robot: Controlling Challenge and Quantifying Finger Individuation during Guitar Hero Game play,” Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2014.
  • Wolbrecht, E., Reinkensmeyer, D. J., Bobrow, J. E., “Pneumatic Control of Robots for Rehabilitation,” The International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 23-38, 2010.
  • Wolbrecht, E., Reinkensmeyer, D. J., Bobrow, J. E. “Optimizing Compliant, Model-Based Robotic Assistance to Promote Neurorehabilitation,” IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering (TNSRE), Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 286-297, 2008.
  • Wolbrecht, E., *Gill, B., *Borth, R., Canning, J., Anderson, M., Edwards, D., “Hybrid Baseline Localization for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles”, Journal of Intelligent and Robotic System (JINT), pp. 1-19, 2014.
  • Wolbrecht, E., Anderson, M. J., Canning, J.,  Edwards, D., Frenzel, J.,  Odell, D., Dean, T., Stringfield, J., Fuesi, J., Armstrong, B., Folk, A., Crosbie, B., “Field Testing of Moving Short-Baseline Navigation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles using Synchronized Acoustic Messaging,” The Journal of Field Robotics, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 519-535, 2013.

  • Parallel Actuated Robotic Trainer for NEuroRehabilitation (PARTNER)
  • BiLateral Upper-extremity Exoskeleton for Simultaneous Assessment of Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Output (BLUE SABINO)
  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle State Estimation and Navigation in the Presence of Oceans Currents

  • Presidential Mid-Career Award, University of Idaho, 2015-17.
  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering Best Paper Award 2011: Wolbrecht et al., “Optimizing Compliant, Model-Based Robotic Assistance to Promote Neurorehabilitation,” 2008.
  • Graduate Fellowship, 3rd International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering, May 2007.
  • Department Fellowship, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC Irvine, Sept. 2006.
  • GAAN Fellowship, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UC Irvine, September 2003.
  • NASA Space Grant Fellowship, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University, Sept. 1996.

Contact Us

Engineering Physics Building Rm. 324K

Mailing Address:

Mechanical Engineering
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 0902
Moscow, ID 83844-0902

Phone: 208-885-6579

Fax: 208-885-9031

Email: medept@uidaho.edu