Within RRD, we work on robotics to support rehabilitation medicine, such as robots for gait training and robotic devices to support arms and hands. We use our expertise in the area of motion analysis and the measurement of muscle activation to produce smart devices that correct or support the movements and position of the limbs when necessary.

One such example is our work on robots that assist people with spasticity or partial paralysis during gait training. Another is robotics that can support the arm and hand of elderly people to independently carry out daily activities.

Supporting technology
The technology used as assistive and training devices is becoming increasingly complex, while using such devices will eventually become commonplace. At RRD we investigate how a patient functions with and without these devices. This allows us to determine the optimum balance between technical possibilities, the clinical context, and the requirements and wishes of patients and therapists. This means that we sometimes conclude that a person would be better off with less advanced technology.

Our added value in this area is that we study the influence of various orthoses, prostheses and robotic systems on the patient’s movement. For example, in our own labs we can measure muscle activation in patients with and without support from an orthosis. In addition, we can analyse the movements of limbs with the help of video recordings, 3D motion analysis systems and ambulatory sensors. Our guiding principle is always to apply advanced technology as effectively and simply as possible for both the patient and the therapist. These applications also extend beyond the treatment centre to the patient’s home.

Projects

COVR – break down barriers collaborative robot safety

In a pan-European strategic effort to break down barriers around collaborative robot safety, five Research and Technology organizations across Europe have teamed up in a new initiative funded by the EU called COVR.

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eNHANCE – Improving and training arm and hand function

The eNHANCE project (Horizon 2020 project) is focusing on the development and testing of new concepts with regard to improving and training arm and hand function during daily life in individuals with physical disabilities. It includes a multimodal interface, user assessment and personalised support.

ironHand – Soft-robotic glove

Through the development of a soft-robotic glove (the ironHand), which gives support during the performance of daily activities, elderly and patients with diminished hand function not only experience support in force, but also de opportunity to train their hand function.

Evolutions – Timing of foot ortheses

Patients who experience drop foot as a consequence of a stroke are given an orthosis that positions the foot in the correct posture. However, what point in the treatment is the most adequate to provide such an orthosis? RRD performed comparative patient research to determine this.

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Other projects within this expertise

ROBAR – Arm support system

Please contact

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Gerdienke Prange – Lasonder
Sr. researcher / human movement scientist

088 087 5759
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Erik Prinsen
Sr. researcher / physical therapist / clinical health scientist

088 087 5761