Rana Soltani-Zarrin

          e-mail: rana.soltani@tamu.edu 

Curriculum vitae


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, Dec. 2019
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Central Florida, Dec. 2013
B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Tabriz, Sept. 2010


Control systems, Motion planning, Optimization, Machine Learning, Wearable Robots, Autonomous Vehicles, Intelligent algorithms, Human-Robot Interaction

Research Summary:

Exoskeleton-based therapy is a growing area and can provide benefits over conventional manual therapy due to the robots’ ability in providing high intensity and long therapy sessions, accurate measurements, and precise control over individual joints. Despite the recent progress in the development of upper-limb rehabilitation exoskeletons, their employment in rehabilitation settings is limited. Among various reasons, one main limiting factor is the problem of human-robot interaction in these systems, which hasn’t been studied thoroughly. From one perspective, improving human-robot interaction requires developing systems that conform to the user. The alignment of the robotic and human joint centers is the requirement for achieving kinematic compliance and ergonomic design. This problem is, however, challenging due to the complexity of the biological joints such as the shoulder. Improved interaction can also be achieved by using exoskeleton motion generation algorithms which can produce motions similar to the natural motions of the users. Additionally, developing control algorithms that better resemble the supervisory role of the therapist during manual rehabilitation, can provide a more compliant therapy procedure and will further expand the usability of exoskeletons in the rehabilitation settings.

My work addresses the three mentioned areas of improvement by offering unique solutions in each area. First, to develop an ergonomic upper-limb exoskeleton that can correspond to the functionality of the human arm and move in accordance with the upper-limb joints, a kinematic design including a new inner shoulder design is introduced based on the systematic approaches of product development. The developed kinematic design is examined through kinematic and experimental analysis on the design. The novel design of this new upper-limb exoskeleton, called CLEVERarm, allows for accurate alignment in the shoulder joint by moving the device joints in harmony with the human body. Additionally, a new control framework is developed which enables automated and patient-cooperative rehabilitation. For this purpose, a new computational-based reference path generation method for upper-limb exoskeletons is introduced which generates human-like reference motions for the exoskeleton. The accuracy of the introduced model is verified through experimental and simulation results. Additionally, a new performance-based compliant controller is developed. The performance-based and assist-as-needed nature of the developed controller encourages patient contribution. Experimental verification results show the capability of the developed algorithm to be employed in upper-limb exoskeletons for the rehabilitation of patients with various levels of motor impairment.


  1. R. Soltani- Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, A. Eib, R. Langari, “CLEVERarm: A Novel Light-weight Upper-limb Exoskeleton for Home-based Rehabilitation”, (under review).
  2. R. Soltani- Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, R. Langari, “Human-like Path Generation in Upper-limb Exoskeletons”, (under review).
  3. R. Soltani- Zarrin, R. Langari, “A Minimum Intervention Controller for Upper-limb Rehabilitation Exoskeletons”, (under review).
  4. A. Zeiaee, R. Soltani-Zarrin, R. Langari, & R. Tafreshi, “Kinematic Design Optimization of an Eight Degree-of-Freedom Upper-Limb Exoskeleton”. Robotica, 1-14, 2019.
  5. A. Zeiaee, R. Soltani-Zarrin, R. Langari, R. Tafreshi, “Design and kinematic analysis of a novel upper limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation of stroke patients” , Proceedings of IEEE 15th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, London, 2017.
  6. R. Soltani-Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, A. Eib, R. Langari, N. Robson and R. Tafreshi, “TAMU CLEVERarm: A novel exoskeleton for rehabilitation of upper limb impairments”, IEEE proceedings of 2017 International Symposium on Wearable & Rehabilitations Robotics (WeRob), Houston, 2017. 10.1109/WEROB.2017.8383844
  7. R. Soltani-Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, R. Langari, N. Robson, “Reference Path Generation for Upper-Arm Exoskeletons Considering Scapulohumeral Rhythms”, Proceedings of 2017 IEEE 15th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, London.
  8. R. Soltani-Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, R. Langari, and R. Tafreshi, “A Computational Approach for Human-like Motion Generation in Upper Limb Exoskeletons Supporting Scapulohumeral Rhythms”, IEEE proceedings of 2017 International Symposium on Wearable & Rehabilitation Robotics (WeRob), Houston, 2017.
  9. R. Soltani-Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, and R. Langari, “Challenges and Opportunities in Exoskeleton-Based Rehabilitation”, in submission to Journal of Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, preprint in arXiv Robotics: 1711.09523, 2017.
  10. A. Zeiaee, R. Soltani-Zarrin, Fernando A. C. C. Fontes, R. Langari, “Constrained Directions Method for Stabilization of Mobile Robots with Input and State Constraints”, Proceedings of  2017 American Control Conference, Seattle.
  11. R. Soltani-Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, R. Langari, “Moving Exoskeletons from Sci-Fi into Medical Rehabilitation and Therapy”, The Conversation, July 2016.
  12. A. Zeiaee, R. Soltani-Zarrin, R. Langari, “Novel Approach for Tracking Control of Differential Drive Robots Subject to Hard Input Constraints”, Proceedings of 2016 American Control Conference, Boston.
  13. A. Zeiaee, R. Soltani-Zarrin, S. Jayasuriya, R. Langari, “A Uniform Control for Tracking and Point Stabilization of Differential Drive Robots subject to Hard Input Constraints”, Proceedings of ASME 2015 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, Columbus.
  14. R. Soltani-Zarrin, A. Zeiaee, S. Jayasuriya, “Pointwise Angle Minimization: A Method for Guiding Wheeled Robots Based on Constrained Directions”, Proceedings of ASME 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, San Antonio.
  15. R. Soltani-Zarrin, S. Jayasuriya, “Constrained Directions as a Path Planning Algorithm for Mobile Robots under Slip and Actuator Limitations”, Proceedings of 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Chicago.
  16. R. Soltani-Zarrin, S. Khanmohammadi, “A Novel Approach for Scheduling Rescue Robot Mission Using Decision Analysis”, International Journal of Computer and Information Engineering (2014), Vol 8, No. 2, pp. 387-393..
  17. S. Khanmohammadi, R. Soltani, “Intelligent Path Planning for Rescue Robots”, International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 7, 2011.


  • Societal/Technical Research Impact Award, National Academy of Engineering, 2017 Global Grand Challenges Summit
  • Willemain, Guyonnot, Liagre 99 Academic Excellence Award, TAMU, 2018
  • J. Malon Southerland ’65 Aggie Leader Scholarship, TAMU, 2018
  • Society of Iranian American Women for Education Scholarship, TAMU, 2018
  • TAMU Society of Women Engineers Scholarship, 2018
  • Emil Buehler Aerodynamic Analog Fellowship, Department of Mechanical Engineering, TAMU, 2017
  • Fran O’Sullivan Women in Lenovo Leadership Scholarship, Society of Women Engineers, 2017
  • International Education Fee Scholarship, TAMU, 2017
  • Rapid Fire Research Presentation Competition Finalist, Society of Women Engineers National Conference, 2017
  • TAMU Society of Women Engineers Scholarship, 2017
  • International Education Fee Scholarship, Texas A&M University, 2017
  • 3rd Place Award, Society of Women Engineers Research Poster Competition, 2017
  • Ethel Ashworth-Tsutsui Memorial Award for Mentoring, 2016
  • Austin Grogan Memorial Scholarship, academic excellence, University of Central Florida, Aug 2013
  • Forough B. Hosseini scholarship, University of Central Florida, Aug 2012


Professional Activities:
  • Session Chair, Unmanned Ground & Surface Robotics Track, DSCC Conference, Oct. 2014
  • Technical Program Committee, 2014 ASME Dynamic Systems & Control Conference
  • Chair, Graduate Society of Women Engineers (GradSWE), TAMU, 2017
  • Technical Program Committee, 2017 SWE Region C conference, Mentor Meet & Greet lunch organizing committee
  • Mechanical Engineering Department Representative, GradSWE, TAMU
  • Reviewer, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
  • Reviewer, Recent Patents on Mechanical Engineering
  • Reviewer, 2018 American Control Conference
  • Reviewer, Elsevier, Engineering Science and Technology (JESTECH)
  • Reviewer, European Journal of Control
  • Reviewer, Journal of Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems
  • Reviewer, 2012 Elsevier Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • Reviewer, 2017 IEEE-RAS-EMBS International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR)
  • Reviewer, 2017 American Control Conference
  • Reviewer, 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
  • Reviewer, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
  • Reviewer, 2014 ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference