Funding available for safety of rehabilitation robots

Within the H2020-funded COVR project, RRD is working on advancing safety of rehabilitation robots. Together with COVR project partners Danish Technological Institute, Fraunhofer IFF, National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), we are aiming to provide tools and structured information to simplify safety evaluation of collaborative robots (cobots) developed for use in for instance manufacturing, agriculture and health. A cascade (FSTP) funding scheme is part of COVR, where third parties can obtain financial support for their safety-related cobot developments.

Cobots are robots that work in close interaction with humans. Obviously, rehabilitation technology is one example of the cobot field where safety is paramount, yet particularly challenging. Especially regarding the direct physical interaction between technology and patient, and his/her vulnerability.

To support developers of cobots (coboteers), a class of tools and services is being developed within the project, such as a COVR toolkit and Shared Safety Facilities. Those can be used by coboteers to obtain information concerning applicable norms and standards for a particular device, proposed safety testing protocols, advice on setting up safety evaluations in particular situations, to test safety aspects of a particular cobot, etc.

As part of the FSTP funding in COVR, three Open Calls will be published between 2018 and 2022, where coboteers can apply for financial support for their safety-related cobot developments. The first Open Call is active now, from the 15th of November 2018 until the 28th of February 2019. In this Call, funding up to €60.000,- per coboteer is available to develop and test cobot technology. Projects can be submitted for a COVR Award to further develop a cobot(-related) technology in relation to safety, perform safety evaluations of a cobot (component), etc. Having the COVR services developed so far tried and tested, will provide valuable input to improve and extend its contents directly based on the experiences of its future users.

For more information, visit the COVR website (www.safearoundrobots.com) and/or contact the COVR team at RRD (Leendert Schaake: l.schaake@rrd.nl; Jule Bessler: j.bessler@RRD.nl; Gerdienke Prange: g.prange@rrd.nl)