The ATHENA Lab, located in 0066 Black Engineering, conducts research related to cognitive and physiological engineering for augmenting human performance and understanding human capabilities. The goal of the lab is to take humans and make them better. Through technology, training, and the principle of engineering, we can make most tasks better. The ATHENA Lab’s mission is to be always focused on the human, and as our work has evolved, we’re now more focused on augmentation. Engineering can augment human performance and help to understand human capabilities. A lot of what we do is to enhance capability while preserving safety and quality of life.
We focus on biomechanical, biomedical, and cognitive engineering with a strong focus on the development of technologies, tools, and techniques that augment human capability and make work more effective, safer, and in many cases, more enjoyable.
An additional goal of The ATHENA Lab is to foster learning and research. Our lab members learn from each other and are always willing to give a hand on a project. We also work on introducing students to STEM fields and research and to what it is like to be a graduate student. Another key aspect of the lab is our humanitarian goals. We always have a pathway for humanitarian projects and are always interested in giving back to the community to make peoples’ lives better. Some of our more recent humanitarian projects can be found here.
The ATHENA Lab is equipped with a plethora of hardware and software available to its members. Equipment includes biomedical and neurological sensors (EKG, EMG, EEG, (heart rate variability) HRV monitors, etc.), force and moment sensors, and dynamometers. In addition, the lab has VO2 Max, spirometers, a suite of goniometers, capable of QEEG, capability for galvanic skin response (GSR), EDA, NeuLog, respiration sensors, several kinds of force plates, magnetic motion monitoring equipment, biograph, EOD (tracks large muscles in the eyes), thermal cameras, high speed cameras, full suite of environmental sensors (temperature, humidity, wet bulb temperature, air speed, Gaussian field sensors), hardness sensors, all standard anthropometric equipment, classic body fat sensors, blood pressure sensors, brain oxygenation sensors, and a full suite of triaxle accelerometers.
The research employs classical and experimental ergonomics, augmented reality, and the incorporation and application of cutting edge technologies. Some research thrusts include the development of design methodologies for AR and multisensory devices, telerobotics control system development, the application of biomechanics for improved sports performance, the development of visualization tools for improving battle space awareness, telerobotics systems and decision support systems, and exoskeletons for military, law enforcement, and civilian training. More information about some of research conducted by the lab members can be found on the members page here.
Joining the Lab
The ATHENA Lab believes in the cross pollination of ideas and disciplines. While the lab is comprised of primarily engineers, we welcome other disciplines and believe that there is always something to be learned from multidisciplinary research. For those of you interested in joining the ATHENA Lab, please visit the Contact Us Page found here.