Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Roger Gassert: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Name Prof. Dr. Roger Gassert
FieldRehabilitation Engineering
Rehabilitation Engineering
ETH Zürich
Lengghalde 5
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 32 66
DepartmentHealth Sciences and Technology
RelationshipFull Professor

151-0061-10LEngineering Tool IV/V: Scientific Writing with LaTeX and Vector Graphics Information Restricted registration - show details
All Engineering Tool courses are for MAVT-Bachelor students only.

Number of participants limited to 40.

Only one course can be chosen per semester.
0.4 credits1KR. Gassert
AbstractThis course provides insights into the structure and compilation of scientific papers and publications using LaTeX as well as open source software for image editing and the creation of vector graphics. LaTeX is a typesetting tool that separates text format and layout. It is widely used for reports and publications in the scientific domain.
ObjectiveBy looking at specific examples during class you will obtain an overview on composing scientific papers (e.g. bachelor theses, semester theses, master theses) using LaTeX and acquire the most important commands to typeset complex formulas, tables and graphics.
Content-- layout of scientific reports
-- writing with LaTeX (structure, formatting, formulas, tables, graphics, references, table of contents, hyperlinks, packages) based on a template for bachelor/ semester/ master theses.
-- graphic design and illustration using open source software and Matlab
-- including PDF files in the report (project description, data sheets)
-- managing bibliography databases
Prerequisites / NoticeParticular:
The exercises will be done on your personal laptop (at least one laptop per two students). The entire LaTeX package, Inkscape and Gimp should be installed in advance.
151-0623-00LETH Zurich Distinguished Seminar in Robotics, Systems and Controls Information
Students for other Master's programmes in Department Mechanical and Process Engineering cannot use the credit in the category Core Courses
1 credit1SB. Nelson, J. Buchli, M. Chli, R. Gassert, M. Hutter, W. Karlen, R. Riener, R. Siegwart
AbstractThis course consists of a series of seven lectures given by researchers who have distinguished themselves in the area of Robotics, Systems, and Controls.
ObjectiveObtain an overview of various topics in Robotics, Systems, and Controls from leaders in the field. Please see for a list of upcoming lectures.
ContentThis course consists of a series of seven lectures given by researchers who have distinguished themselves in the area of Robotics, Systems, and Controls. MSc students in Robotics, Systems, and Controls are required to attend every lecture. Attendance will be monitored. If for some reason a student cannot attend one of the lectures, the student must select another ETH or University of Zurich seminar related to the field and submit a one page description of the seminar topic. Please see for a suggestion of other lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents are required to attend all seven lectures to obtain credit. If a student must miss a lecture then attendance at a related special lecture will be accepted that is reported in a one page summary of the attended lecture. No exceptions to this rule are allowed.
376-1219-00LRehabilitation Engineering II: Rehabilitation of Sensory and Vegetative Functions3 credits2VR. Riener, R. Gassert, L. Marchal Crespo
AbstractRehabilitation Engng is the application of science and technology to ameliorate the handicaps of individuals with disabilities to reintegrate them into society.The goal is to present classical and new rehabilitation engineering principles applied to compensate or enhance motor, sensory, and cognitive deficits. Focus is on the restoration and treatment of the human sensory and vegetative system.
ObjectiveProvide knowledge on the anatomy and physiology of the human sensory system, related dysfunctions and pathologies, and how rehabilitation engineering can provide sensory restoration and substitution.

This lecture is independent from Rehabilitation Engineering I. Thus, both lectures can be visited in arbitrary order.
ContentIntroduction, problem definition, overview
Rehabilitation of visual function
- Anatomy and physiology of the visual sense
- Technical aids (glasses, sensor substitution)
- Retina and cortex implants
Rehabilitation of hearing function
- Anatomy and physiology of the auditory sense
- Hearing aids
- Cochlea Implants
Rehabilitation and use of kinesthetic and tactile function
- Anatomy and physiology of the kinesthetic and tactile sense
- Tactile/haptic displays for motion therapy (incl. electrical stimulation)
- Role of displays in motor learning
Rehabilitation of vestibular function
- Anatomy and physiology of the vestibular sense
- Rehabilitation strategies and devices (e.g. BrainPort)
Rehabilitation of vegetative Functions
- Cardiac Pacemaker
- Phrenic stimulation, artificial breathing aids
- Bladder stimulation, artificial sphincter
Brain stimulation and recording
- Deep brain stimulation for patients with Parkinson, epilepsy, depression
- Brain-Computer Interfaces
LiteratureIntroductory Books:

An Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering. R. A. Cooper, H. Ohnabe, D. A. Hobson (Eds.). Taylor & Francis, 2007.

Principles of Neural Science. E. R. Kandel, J. H. Schwartz, T. M Jessell (Eds.). Mc Graw Hill, New York, 2000.

Force and Touch Feedback for Virtual Reality. G. C. Burdea (Ed.). Wiley, New York, 1996 (available on NEBIS).

Human Haptic Perception, Basics and Applications. M. Grunwald (Ed.). Birkhäuser, Basel, 2008.

The Sense of Touch and Its Rendering, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics 45, A. Bicchi et al.(Eds). Springer-Verlag Berlin, 2008.

Interaktive und autonome Systeme der Medizintechnik - Funktionswiederherstellung und Organersatz. Herausgeber: J. Werner, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag 2005.

Neural prostheses - replacing motor function after desease or disability. Eds.: R. Stein, H. Peckham, D. Popovic. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Advances in Rehabilitation Robotics - Human-Friendly Technologies on Movement Assistance and Restoration for People with Disabilities. Eds: Z.Z. Bien, D. Stefanov (Lecture Notes in Control and Information Science, No. 306). Springer Verlag Berlin 2004.

Intelligent Systems and Technologies in Rehabilitation Engineering. Eds: H.N.L. Teodorescu, L.C. Jain (International Series on Computational Intelligence). CRC Press Boca Raton, 2001.

Selected Journal Articles and Web Links:

Abbas, J., Riener, R. (2001) Using mathematical models and advanced control systems techniques to enhance neuroprosthesis function. Neuromodulation 4, pp. 187-195.

Bach-y-Rita P., Tyler M., and Kaczmarek K (2003). Seeing with the brain. International journal of human-computer-interaction, 15(2):285-295.

Burdea, G., Popescu, V., Hentz, V., and Colbert, K. (2000): Virtual reality-based orthopedic telerehabilitation, IEEE Trans. Rehab. Eng., 8, pp. 430-432
Colombo, G., Jörg, M., Schreier, R., Dietz, V. (2000) Treadmill training of paraplegic patients using a robotic orthosis. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, vol. 37, pp. 693-700.

Hayward, V. (2008): A Brief Taxonomy of Tactile Illusions and
Demonstrations That Can Be Done In a Hardware Store. Brain Research Bulletin, Vol 75, No 6, pp 742-752

Krebs, H.I., Hogan, N., Aisen, M.L., Volpe, B.T. (1998): Robot-aided neurorehabilitation, IEEE Trans. Rehab. Eng., 6, pp. 75-87

Levesque. V. (2005). Blindness, technology and haptics. Technical report, McGill University. Available at:

Quintern, J. (1998) Application of functional electrical stimulation in paraplegic patients. NeuroRehabilitation 10, pp. 205-250.

Riener, R., Nef, T., Colombo, G. (2005) Robot-aided neurorehabilitation for the upper extremities. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing 43(1), pp. 2-10.

Riener, R. (1999) Model-based development of neuroprostheses for paraplegic patients. Royal Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences 354, pp. 877-894.

The vOICe.

VideoTact, ForeThought Development, LLC.
Prerequisites / NoticeTarget Group:
Students of higher semesters and PhD students of
- Biomedical Engineering, Robotics, Systems and Control
- Medical Faculty, University of Zurich
Students of other departments, faculties, courses are also welcome
This lecture is independent from Rehabilitation Engineering I. Thus, both lectures can be visited in arbitrary order.
376-1504-00LPhysical Human Robot Interaction (pHRI) Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 26.
4 credits2V + 2UR. Gassert, O. Lambercy
AbstractThis course focuses on the emerging, interdisciplinary field of physical human-robot interaction, bringing together themes from robotics, real-time control, human factors, haptics, virtual environments, interaction design and other fields to enable the development of human-oriented robotic systems.
ObjectiveThe objective of this course is to give an introduction to the fundamentals of physical human robot interaction, through lectures on the underlying theoretical/mechatronics aspects and application fields, in combination with a hands-on lab tutorial. The course will guide students through the design and evaluation process of such systems.

By the end of this course, you should understand the critical elements in human-robot interactions - both in terms of engineering and human factors - and use these to evaluate and de- sign safe and efficient assistive and rehabilitative robotic systems. Specifically, you should be able to:

1) identify critical human factors in physical human-robot interaction and use these to derive design requirements;
2) compare and select mechatronic components that optimally fulfill the defined design requirements;
3) derive a model of the device dynamics to guide and optimize the selection and integration of selected components
into a functional system;
4) design control hardware and software and implement and
test human-interactive control strategies on the physical
5) characterize and optimize such systems using both engineering and psychophysical evaluation metrics;
6) investigate and optimize one aspect of the physical setup and convey and defend the gained insights in a technical presentation.
ContentThis course provides an introduction to fundamental aspects of physical human-robot interaction. After an overview of human haptic, visual and auditory sensing, neurophysiology and psychophysics, principles of human-robot interaction systems (kinematics, mechanical transmissions, robot sensors and actuators used in these systems) will be introduced. Throughout the course, students will gain knowledge of interaction control strategies including impedance/admittance and force control, haptic rendering basics and issues in device design for humans such as transparency and stability analysis, safety hardware and procedures. The course is organized into lectures that aim to bring students up to speed with the basics of these systems, readings on classical and current topics in physical human-robot interaction, laboratory sessions and lab visits.
Students will attend periodic laboratory sessions where they will implement the theoretical aspects learned during the lectures. Here the salient features of haptic device design will be identified and theoretical aspects will be implemented in a haptic system based on the haptic paddle (, by creating simple dynamic haptic virtual environments and understanding the performance limitations and causes of instabilities (direct/virtual coupling, friction, damping, time delays, sampling rate, sensor quantization, etc.) during rendering of different mechanical properties.
Lecture notesWill be distributed through the document repository before the lectures.
LiteratureAbbott, J. and Okamura, A. (2005). Effects of position quantization and sampling rate on virtual-wall passivity. Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, 21(5):952 - 964.
Adams, R. and Hannaford, B. (1999). Stable haptic interaction with virtual environments. Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on, 15(3):465 -474.
Buerger, S. and Hogan, N. (2007). Complementary stability and loop shaping for improved human ndash;robot interaction. Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, 23(2):232 -244.
Burdea, G. and Brooks, F. (1996). Force and touch feedback for virtual reality. John Wiley & Sons New York NY.
Colgate, J. and Brown, J. (1994). Factors affecting the z-width of a haptic display. In Robotics and Automation, 1994. Proceedings., 1994 IEEE International Conference on, pages 3205 -3210 vol.4.
Diolaiti, N., Niemeyer, G., Barbagli, F., and Salisbury, J. (2006). Stability of haptic rendering: Discretization, quantization, time delay, and coulomb effects. Robotics, IEEE Transactions on, 22(2):256 -268.
Gillespie, R. and Cutkosky, M. (1996). Stable user-specific haptic rendering of the virtual wall. In Proceedings of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exhibition, volume 58, pages 397-406.
Hannaford, B. and Ryu, J.-H. (2002). Time-domain passivity control of haptic interfaces. Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on, 18(1):1 -10.
Hashtrudi-Zaad, K. and Salcudean, S. (2001). Analysis of control architectures for teleoperation systems with impedance/admittance master and slave manipulators. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 20(6):419.
Hayward, V. and Astley, O. (1996). Performance measures for haptic interfaces. In ROBOTICS RESEARCH-INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM-, volume 7, pages 195-206. Citeseer.
Hayward, V. and Maclean, K. (2007). Do it yourself haptics: part i. Robotics Automation Magazine, IEEE, 14(4):88 -104.
Leskovsky, P., Harders, M., and Szeekely, G. (2006). Assessing the fidelity of haptically rendered deformable objects. In Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, 2006 14th Symposium on, pages 19 - 25.
MacLean, K. and Hayward, V. (2008). Do it yourself haptics: Part ii [tutorial]. Robotics Automation Magazine, IEEE, 15(1):104 -119.
Mahvash, M. and Hayward, V. (2003). Passivity-based high-fidelity haptic rendering of contact. In Robotics and Automation, 2003. Proceedings. ICRA '03. IEEE International Conference on, volume 3, pages 3722 - 3728 vol.3.
Mehling, J., Colgate, J., and Peshkin, M. (2005). Increasing the impedance range of a haptic display by adding electrical damping. In Eurohaptics Conference, 2005 and Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, 2005. World Haptics 2005. First Joint, pages 257 - 262.
Okamura, A., Richard, C., and Cutkosky, M. (2002). Feeling is believing: Using a force-feedback joystick to teach dynamic systems. JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION-WASHINGTON-, 91(3):345-350.
O'Malley, M. and Goldfarb, M. (2004). The effect of virtual surface stiffness on the haptic perception of detail. Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on, 9(2):448 -454.
Richard, C. and Cutkosky, M. (2000). The effects of real and computer generated friction on human performance in a targeting task. In Proceedings of the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division, volume 69, page 2.
Salisbury, K., Conti, F., and Barbagli, F. (2004). Haptic rendering: Introductory concepts. Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE, 24(2):24-32.
Weir, D., Colgate, J., and Peshkin, M. (2008). Measuring and increasing z-width with active electrical damping. In Haptic interfaces for virtual environment and teleoperator systems, 2008. haptics 2008. symposium on, pages 169 -175.
Yasrebi, N. and Constantinescu, D. (2008). Extending the z-width of a haptic device using acceleration feedback. Haptics: Perception, Devices and Scenarios, pages 157-162.
Prerequisites / NoticeNotice:
The registration is limited to 26 students
There are 4 credit points for this lecture.
The lecture will be held in English.
The students are expected to have basic control knowledge from previous classes.