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Interview with Philippe Fraisse

"A breath of fresh air"

Philippe Fraisse is a researcher in the DEMAR project team. He coordinates the associate team @WALK, in partnership with Stanford University in the USA.

Why create an associate team?

Philippe Fraisse: We have been working with Oussama Khatib, a professor at Stanford University, for almost four years. We are developing a simulation tool to model and analyse human movement for healthcare applications, such as equipment for paraplegic patients or elderly people. The two teams complement each other perfectly and our common work requires a great deal of interaction. We firstly financed the collaboration via the France-Stanford inter-disciplinary study centre, then through Montpellier 2 University in 2008 which enabled us to build a research project over the course of a three-month stay at Stanford. But in 2009, the Demar project team's funding was spent for hosting a PhD student from Stanford. We no longer had the money to pay for travel costs in 2010.

Does the Associate Team helps you to continue your work?

Philippe Fraisse: It does. The Associate Team is a real breath of fresh air. With this budget, two people from our team have spent almost a month at Stanford each. And two PhD students from Stanford have come to France and stayed five weeks with us. I am going there myself for three weeks this year, to analyse experimental data for the modeling of elderly people’s movements. Eight people in total have benefited from the Associate Team.

What is the impact from a scientific point of view?

Philippe Fraisse: The application process made us formalise the project and set objectives on a three years term. Secondly, thanks to such exchanges, our muscle model will be incorporated within a major neuro-musculo-skeletal software platform. This platform, OpenSim, is being developed at Stanford under the bio-X project.

Keywords: Philippe Fraisse