Luis Valle

Luis Valle
Mentor: Dr. Warren Dixon
College of Engineering
""I got involved in this particular research project because I felt the hand of God moving me in this direction. I realized this through the circumstances, my innermost desires, and seeing a great opportunity to exercise the spirit of Opus Dei. As a kid I had desires that I did not understand completely, but I knew they indicated purpose. As I grew up, I progressively understood these desires better. I expressed these starting with invention drawings, then taking RC cars apart, followed by watching the Ironman tv series and playing Megaman and for hours and hours. These experiences forged my path towards robotics, and in college that was what I naturally leaned towards. In my third year of college I got very interested in robotic exoeskeletons. I was amused with the XOS 2 from Raytheon and I wanted to do something along those lines. One day I decided to stop by Dr. Dixon’s office to ask him if I could do research with him. He responded, “Well, I have a grad student working on a robotic exoskeleton. Would you be interested in that?” to which I naturally responded, “Of course”. Hence, I started working for Matt Bellman in the project. The talk I had with Dr. Dixon in my junior year was what I would call ‘a coincidence that is not a coincidence’. Throughout my life I have had many of those situations that seem rather intellectually planned. Through these experiences and others I have come to know my creator. In knowing him I found gratefulness, and that is why I do what I do in the spirit of Opus Dei (Work of God). What I mean by this is that every action I do in the day is for the glory of God. This translates into doing my schoolwork and research to the best of my ability as a pleasing sacrifice to him."


Mechanical Engineering



Research Interests

  • Non-linear Controls
  • Robotics
  • Orthotics

Academic Awards

  • John and Mittie Collins Scholars Award
  • St. Petersburg College Business Plan Competition Award for Innovative Ideas in Technology
  • St. Petersburg College Eagle Scholarship for High Academic Achievement
  • St. Petersburg College Outstanding Student Government Officer Award


  • St. Vincent De Paul Society
  • Fellowship of Catholic University Students


  • St. Augustine Catholic Church
  • St. Vincent De Paul Society

Hobbies and Interests

  • Sailing
  • Guitar
  • Soccer
  • Drumset

Research Description

Torque Sensing for Control of a Single Degree-of-Freedom Hybrid Motor Neuroprosthesis
"The topic of this research project is in the non-linear controls and robotics area. The research consists in torque sensing for control of a single-degree-of-freedom hybrid motor neuroprosthesis. It combines robotic exoskeleton and functional electric stimulation concepts for rehabilitation and functional restoration. Functional electric stimulation adds more natural actuation capabilities to an exoskeleton. It also provides a mean to use the body’s internal chemical energy supply to power the system. The system would provide motion therapy and the benefits of functional electric stimulation, which result in function restoration. Torque sensing is an integral part of developing this system. A motor could easily harm the user if we do not keep its force limits bounded. To bound the force, we need to measure the acting forces through torque sensing. Torque sensing will also be used to measure the forces applied by the person to the robot, indicating user intent and generating a desired force trajectory. Ideally, this research would lead us to a system that would be more capable, energy-efficient, and it would be more beneficial to a disabled user than any current exoskeleton today.