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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 U of I, has been used at UCI and the Wadsworth center in Albany, New York in collaboration with David Reinkensmeyer and Jonathon Wolpaw, respectively. Currently, Wolbrecht is leading a research team at UI to update the FINGER device and add a thumb actuation module.

Wolbrecht, collaborating with Dr. Joel Perry, is also working on 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 U of I 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.

  • Wolbrecht, E. T., Rowe, J. B., Chan, V., Ingemanson, M. L., Cramer, S. C., Reinkensmeyer, D. J., “Finger Strength, Individuation, and their Interaction: Relationship to Hand Function and Corticospinal Tract Injury after Stroke”, Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol. 129, No. 4, pp. 797-808, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2018.01.057, Impact Factor 3.6.
  • Rowe, J. B., Chan, V., Ingemanson, M. L., Cramer, S. C., Wolbrecht, E. T., Reinkensmeyer, D. J., “Robotic assistance for training finger movement using a Hebbian model: A randomized controlled trial,” Journal of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Vol. 31, No. 8, pp. 769-780, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968317721975, Impact Factor 4.7.
  • Ingemanson, M. L., 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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-015-4440-4, Impact Factor 1.9.
  • Wolbrecht, E., Gill, B., Borth, R., Canning, J., Anderson, M., Edwards, D., “Hybrid Baseline Localization for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles”, Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems (JINT), Vol. 78, No. 3-4, pp. 593-611, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10846-014-0070-5, Impact Factor 1.2.
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-0003-11-10, Impact Factor 2.7.
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1002/rob.21460, Impact Factor 4.3.
  • Walker, C., Stringfield, J. Wolbrecht, E., Anderson, M. J., Canning, J. R., Bean, T., Odell, D., Frenzel, F., and Edwards, D., “Measurement of the Magnetic Signature of a Moving Surface Vessel with Multiple Magnetometer Equipped AUVs,” Ocean Engineering, Vol. 64, pp. 80-87, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2013.02.011, Impact Factor 1.8.
  • Reinkensmeyer, D., Wolbrecht, E., Chan, V., Chou, C., Cramer, S., and Bobrow, J., “Comparison of Three-Dimensional, Assist-as-Needed Robotic Arm/Hand Movement Training provided with Pneu-WREX to Conventional Table Top Therapy following Chronic Stroke,” The American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 91, No. 11, pp. S232-S241, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1097/phm.0b013e31826bce79, Impact Factor 1.7.
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1177/0278364909103787, Impact Factor 4.1.
  • 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. https://doi.org/10.1109/tnsre.2008.918389, Impact Factor 2.9.

  • Development of the Finger INdividuating Grasp Exercise Robot version 2 (FINGER 2.0) to support the NIH sponsored project: “Effectiveness of Robot-Assisted Hand Movement Training After Stroke.”
  • NSF sponsored MRI: Development of the BLUE SABINO (BiLateral Upper-extremity Exoskeleton for Simultaneous Assessment of Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Output) exoskeleton for simultaneous assessment of brain, muscular, and nervous system output during functional arm and hand tasks.
  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle State Estimation and Navigation during Oceanographic Survey Measurements

  • 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