Michael T. Wolf
Mechanical Engineering
California Institute of Technology

UPDATE: I have finished my Caltech degree and taken a research posiion at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's robotics section. This page will be updated infrequently.

My interests lie in assistive robotics and human-machine interfaces.

My doctoral project, advised by Dr. Joel Burdick, was motivated by the needs of neural prostheses -- that is, robotic limbs people can control with thought alone. For these devices, tapping into and holding useful brain signals for years at a time poses an enormous barrier. Our approach consists of implanting a small robotic device (and accompanying control algorithm) with many individually-motorized electrodes that each autonomously locate, isolate, and track a neuron for long periods of time. To further complicate matters, we wish to find signals only from neurons dedicated ("tuned") to a particular task, say controlling an "arm reach." While the primary aim of such technology is for a neural interface for neuroprostheses, such a device may also advance the state-of-the-art experimental techniques for electrophysiology. This work is accomplished in collaboration with the neurobiology lab of Dr. Richard Andersen.

Degrees: My coursework profile at Caltech consisted primarily of Control, Robotics, and Mathematics, with a smattering of Neurobiology. Click for a full course list.
E-mail wolfrobotics.caltech.edu