Bionic systems are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Exoskeletons and prostheses restore mobility to people with physical disabilities, and augment able-bodied performance. Although a complete bionic system is made up of biological structures (“the body”) and robotic mechanisms (“the machine”), the traditional development approach focuses solely on engineering the machine. As a result, even the most advanced bionic systems are subject to fundamental limitations of the human body. In this seminar, Prof. Clites will discuss his research in the nascent field of anatomics, which turns this traditional paradigm on its head. Prof. Clites’ work integrates the efforts of surgeons and mechatronic engineers to parallelize the development of body and machine, paving the way for bionic systems that integrate fully with the human.
Tyler Clites builds human cyborgs. Dr. Clites is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCLA, with joint appointments in Bioengineering and Orthopaedic Surgery at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. At UCLA, Prof. Clites directs the Anatomical Engineering Group, where his research in the field of rehabilitation and augmentation technology is focused on co-engineering body and machine for improved bionic performance.
Prof. Clites earned his Ph.D. in 2018 from the Harvard/MIT program in Health Sciences and Technology. As a doctoral student, Prof. Clites developed a novel surgical procedure for limb amputation to improve neural interfacing, control, and embodiment of prosthetic limbs. He then completed a postdoc at the University of Michigan, in Mechanical Engineering and Robotics. His research has been published in clinical and engineering journals, and featured at TED, in The Boston Globe and The New York Times, and on 60 Minutes and CNN.