Prof. Dr. Ing. H. (Heike) Vallery

Curriculum Vitae

Heike Vallery received her Dipl.-Ing. degree in Mechanical Engineering (with honors) from RWTH Aachen University in 2004. Since then, she has been working on robot-assisted rehabilitation and prosthetic legs, in close collaboration with clinicians and partners from industry. She received her Dr.-Ing. from the Technische Universität München in 2009. From 2008 to 2011, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the SMS Lab at ETH Zürich. At that time, she and her collaborators started realizing diverse transparent robotic interfaces for 3D overground gait training, which are now enabling ground-breaking research on recovery after spinal cord injury. From 2011 to 2012, she worked at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi as an assistant professor, and she joined TU Delft in 2012 in that same function. In 2019 she became a full professor at TU Delft. Since November 2019, she also holds a honorary professorship at the Department for Rehabilitation Medicine at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam. Heike Vallery has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, filed 15 patent applications, and received diverse fellowships and awards, such as the 1st prize of the euRobotics Technology Transfer Award 2014 and a Vidi fellowship in 2016 from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. In April 2023, she moved back to RWTH Aachen as an Alexander-von-Humboldt professor, where she now heads the Institute of Automatic Control. She remains affiliated with TU Delft and Erasmus MC, mainly focusing on minimalistic and unconventional concepts to support human gait and balance.


Heike Vallery's research interests are in bipedal locomotion and robotic assistance for individuals with gait disorders. For example, within her VIDI project and the US RERC COMET, she and her group are exploring gyroscopic wearable actuation concepts for balance assistance.

To the Delft Biorobotics Lab 

To Project Inspiration, an effort to develop a rapidly manufactured ventilator.

Google Scholar Profile

Selected Publications

  • Plooij, M.; Apte, S.; Keller, U.; Baines, P.; Sterke, B.; Asboth, L.; Courtine, G.; von Zitzewitz, J. & Vallery, H.
    Neglected physical human-robot interaction may explain variable outcomes in gait neurorehabilitation research (free access via this link),
    Science Robotics, 6, 1-13, 2021
  • Lemus, D./Berry, A.; Jabeen, S. Jayaraman, C.; Hohl, K.; van der Helm, K.; Jayaraman, A. & Vallery, H.
    Controller synthesis and clinical exploration of wearable gyroscopic actuators to support human balance (open access),
    Scientific Reports, 10, 2020
  • Apte, S.; Plooij, M. & Vallery, H.
    Simulation of human gait with body weight support: benchmarking models and unloading strategies (open access)
    Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation, 2020, 17, 1-16.
  • Wyss, D.; Pennycott, A.; Bartenbach, P.; Riener, R. & Vallery, H.
    A MUltidimensional Compliant Decoupled Actuator (MUCDA) for pelvic support during gait (.pdf)
    IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, 2019, 24, 164-174
  • van der Weijde, J.; Vallery, H. & Babuska, R.
    Closed-loop control through self-sensing of a joule-heated twisted and coiled polymer muscle (open access)
    Soft robotics, 2019, 6, 621-630.
  • Apte, S.; Plooij, M. & Vallery, H.
    Influence of body weight unloading on human gait characteristics: a systematic review (open access)
    Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation, 2018, 15(1), 1-18.
  • Plooij, M.; Keller, U.; Sterke, B.; Komi, S.; Vallery, H.; & von Zitzewitz, J.
    Design of RYSEN: An Intrinsically Safe and Low-Power Three-Dimensional Overground Body Weight Support (.pdf)
    IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2018, 3(3), 2253-2260.
  • Valk, L.; Berry, A.; & Vallery, H.
    Directional Singularity Escape and Avoidance for Single-Gimbal Control Moment Gyroscopes (.pdf)
    Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 2018, 41(5), 1095-1107.
  • Lemus Perez, D.; van Frankenhuyzen, J. & Vallery, H.
    Design and Evaluation of a Balance Assistance Control Moment Gyroscope (open access)
    Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 2017, 9(5), 1-9.
  • Koryakovskiy, I.; Kudruss, M.; Babuska, R.; Caarls, W.; Kirches, C.; Mombaur, K.; P.Schlöder, J. & Vallery, H.
    Benchmarking model-free and model-based optimal control (.pdf)
    Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2017, 92, 81-90.
  • Van der Weijde, Joost; Smit, B.; Fritschi, Michael; van de Kamp, Cornelis & Vallery, H.
    Self-sensing of deflection, force, and temperature for joule-heated twisted and coiledpolymer muscles via electrical impedance(.pdf)
    IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 2017, 22(3), 1268-1275.
  • Berry, A.; Lemus Perez, D.; Babuška, R. & Vallery, H.
    Directional Singularity-Robust Torque Control for Gyroscopic Actuators (.pdf)
    IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 2016, 21(6), 2755 - 2763.
  • Plooij, M.; Wisse, M. & Vallery, H.
    Reducing the energy consumption of robots using the Bi-directional Clutched Parallel Elastic Actuator (.pdf)
    IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2016, 32(6), 1512 -1523.
  • Pfeifer, S.; Pagel, A.; Riener, R. & Vallery, H.
    Actuator With Angle-Dependent Elasticity for Biomimetic Transfemoral Prostheses (.pdf)
    IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 2015, 20(3), 1384-1394.
  • Pagel, A.; Hernandez Arieta A.; Riener, R. & Vallery, H.
    Effects of Sensory Augmentation on Postural Control and Gait Symmetry of Transfemoral Amputees - A Case Description (.pdf)
    Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, 2016, 54(10), 1579-1589 .
  • Marchal-Crespo, L.; Bannwart, M.; Riener, R. & Vallery, H.
    The effect of haptic guidance on learning a hybrid rhythmic-discrete motor task (.pdf)
    IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2015, 8(2), 222-234.
  • Hollnagel, C.; Vallery, H.; Schädler, R.; LĂłpez, I. G.-L.; Jaeger, L.; Wolf, P.; Riener, R. & Marchal-Crespo, L.
    Non-linear adaptive controllers for an over-actuated pneumatic MR-compatible stepper.
    Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, 2013, 51(7), 799-809.
  • Dominici, N.; Keller, U.; H. Vallery; Friedli, L.; van den Brand, R.; Starkey, M. L.; Musienko, P.; Riener, R. & Courtine, G.
    Versatile robotic interface to evaluate, enable and train locomotion and balance after neuromotor disorders
    Nature Medicine, 2012, 18, 1142-1147
  • Vallery, H., O'Brien, C., Bögel, A. & Riener, R.
    Cooperative Control Design for Robot-Assisted Balance during Gait. (.pdf)
    at- Automatisierungstechnik, 2012, 60 (11), 715-720.
  • Pfeifer, S., Vallery, H., Hardegger, M., Riener, R. & Perreault, E. J.
    Model-Based Estimation of Knee Stiffness
    IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 2012, 59 (9), 2604-2612.
  • Pennycott, A., Ureta, V., Wyss, D., Vallery, H., Klamroth-Marganska, V. & Riener, R.
    Towards More Effective Robotic Gait Training for Stroke Rehabilitation: a Review.
    Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 9 (65).
  • Wieser, M., Buetler, L., Vallery, H., Schaller, J., Mayr, A., Kofler, M., Saltuari, L., Zutter, D. & Riener, R.
    Quantification of clinical scores through physiological recordings in low-responsive patients: a feasibility study.
    Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 9(1), 30.
  • Li, D. & Vallery, H.
    Gyroscopic Assistance for Human Balance
    Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control (AMC), Sarajevo, 2012
  • Parietti, F.; Baud-Bovy, G.; Gatti, E.; Riener, R.; Guzzella, L. & H. Vallery
    Series Viscoelastic Actuators Can Match Human Force Perception (.pdf)
    IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, 2011, 16, 853-860
  • C. Hollnagel; M. BrĂĽgger; H. Vallery; P. Wolf; V. Dietz; S. Kollias & Riener, R.
    Brain activity during stepping: a novel MRI-compatible device
    J Neurosci Methods, 2011, 201, 124-130
  • A. Pennycott; D. Wyss; H. Vallery & R. Riener.
    Effects of Added Inertia and Body Weight Support on Lateral Balance Control During Walking
    Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR) , 2011, 1 -6
  • S. Pfeifer; M. Hardegger; H. Vallery; R. List; M. Foresti; R. Riener & E. J. Perreault.
    Model-Based Estimation of Active Knee Stiffness
    Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), 2011
  • H. Vallery, R. Burgkart, C. Hartmann, J. Mitternacht, R. Riener, M. Buss
    Complementary limb motion estimation for the control of active knee prostheses (.pdf)
    Biomedizinische Technik/Biomedical Engineering 2011 56:1 , 45-51
  • J. von Zitzewitz, G. Rauter, H. Vallery, A. Morger, and R. Riener
    Forward kinematics of redundantly actuated, tendon-based robots
    Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Taipei, Taiwan, 2010.
  • H. Vallery, A. Duschau-Wicke, and R. Riener
    Hiding robot inertia using resonance
    Proceedings of the International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2010.
  • H. Vallery, A. Duschau-Wicke, R. Riener
    Generalized Elasticities Improve Patient-Cooperative Control of Rehabilitation Robotss
    Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), 2009
  • H. Vallery, A. Duschau-Wicke, R. Riener
    Optimized Passive Dynamics Improve Transparency of Haptic Devices
    Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2009
  • H. Vallery, E. van Asseldonk, M. Buss and H. van der Kooij
    Reference Trajectory Generation for Rehabilitation Robots: Complementary Limb Motion Estimation
    IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 17(1):23-30, 2009.
  • H. Vallery, J. Veneman, E. van Asseldonk, R. Ekkelenkamp, M. Buss and H. van der Kooij
    Compliant Actuation of Rehabilitation Robots - Benefits and Limitations of Series Elastic Actuators
    IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 15(3): 60-69, 2008.
  • H. Vallery, R. Ekkelenkamp, H. van der Kooij, M. Buss
    Complementary Limb Motion Estimation based on Interjoint Coordination: Experimental Evaluation
    Proceedings of the 2007 International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, 2007
  • H. Vallery, R. Ekkelenkamp, H. van der Kooij, M. Buss
    Passive and Accurate Torque Control of Series Elastic Actuators
    Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2007